Näyttökuva 2015-07-30 kello 13.58.52

The Open Innovation 2.0 Conference was held on 8th – 9th June in Otaniemi, Finland. It was the 3rd time when open innovation practitioners and researchers met in this context, the two previous events were organized in Dublin.

Karostech’s Founder and Partner Ilkka Kakko was invited to organize and chair a panel session especially dedicated to serendipity. This was the very first time when serendipity was taken into the agenda of any EU level conference, thanks to the organizers for this insightful decision.

Ilkka invited distinguished international experts to join the panel: Anabel Quan-Haase flew all the way from Canada, Andreas Krueger from Germany and Sebastian Olma from the Netherlands. They all gave 15 mins introductory talks from different perspectives. Anabel presented the academic perspective, Andreas explained some practical urban development cases from Berlin and Sebastian took the social and cultural perspective stating that the cultural roots of serendipity can be found in hippie movement and the science of cybernetics. “Making Love and War” – slogan was presented as the manifesto of that . The audience of 40-50 people participated actively into the discussion and one the final outcomes of the panel was the definition of serendipity in Open Innovation 2.0 context: “Serendipity is the art of benefiting from unexpected” .

The elaboration of the topic at EU-level and the plans for further actions in promoting serendipity research and piloting cases are now well under way, partly thanks to all participants of the panel session. We will meet again next year, this time again in jolly Dublin.

Cover photo: Sebastian Olma with his statement on stage

Side Photo: Preparation for the panel, left Sebastian Olma, center Andreas Krueger, right Anabel Quan-Haase.

 

Ilkka Kakko was invited to have a keynote speech in Seats2Meet Global Partner Conference in Utrecht, Netherlands. The main message of the presentation was that emergent competence platforms are urgently needed when building up global freelancer ecosystems. A well designed platform with enough critical mass will help increase the dynamics and interaction and hence support new idea creation and implementation of emergent ideas. Ilkka’s presentation can be downloaded here.

 

 

 

 

This new book is free to view and download here.

The book is based on the experiences taken from ’netWork Oasis’ – and ’OpenINNO’ (ENPI – 631) – projects. It will describe the revolutionary change in our society and business fields having a transformative effect also to our innovation environments. The increasing importance of communities and sustainable ecosystems is highlighted. The emergent types of entrepreneurship – both effectual and social entrepreneurship – are explained and some great examples also outside Oasis and OpenINNO projects are illustrated.

The key conclusion of the book is that innovation activities can be improved by understanding serendipity and applying serendipity management principles. The book gives practical, hands-on advices, how to harness serendipity on individual, community and organizational levels. It describes the possibilities to enhance serendipity in business environments by workspace design, both physical and virtual, and explains how to increase coincidencity in the team building process.

Keywords: innovation environments, incubation, community building, ecosystem development, open innovation, collaboration platforms, serendipity, serendipity management

Karostech Ltd and Sovelto, one of the biggest private training companies in Finland, have today agreed that Sovelto will start to offer one day serendipity training to its customers. The key idea is to increase the understanding of serendipity when managing innovation management processes and to help participants create innovation ecosystems that really support harnessing serendipity.

The first training is planned after the summer holidays and also tailor made company trainings will be available. The responsible teacher is Karostech’s Founder and Partner Ilkka Kakko. “This is a great acknowledgement of my work over the last ten years in this field. I am sincerely confident that this training will give very practical advice and value to the participants” says Ilkka.

Ilkka Kakko had an opportunity to share his insights at the Kiinteistöalan Vuosiseminaari in Aulanko on 7th of November (The Annual Convention of Real Estate Organizations in Finland). About 500 participants from different areas of real estate business (facility management, construction companies, service providers, investors, lawyers) were participating. Ilkka had a session together with an acknowledged future scientist and author Mika Aaltonen – Ilkka introduced the audience to the topic with his “post-normal era slides” (in Finnish) and Mika continued with his “Renaissance Society” theme. Overall the presentation was warmly welcomed and the discussion about future developments was really active.

Quite an inspiring experience all in all!

Are the big corporations loosing the race for attracting and motivating talent? Is Michel Serres right by stating that: ”I see our institutions shining with a brilliance similar to constellations which astronomers tell us they are dead since a long time”?  Do our established institutions have means to win the race?

The increased power of social media, the introduction of open innovation principles and the concept of extended entreprise have changed the innovation landscape.  Still in many cases the practices and even the tools used in corporate world are from the industrial era. They are not flexible and agile enough to support companies gaining from the ambivalence, discontinuity and unpredictability of our postnormal era. But there is hope.

For completely understandable reasons, enterprise social media tools and platforms like Yammer, Chatter, Jive and Sharepoint have been branded as great ways to communicate, engage, collaborate, coordinate, update and share information. That’s largely accurate. But those pretty verbs obscure where the real action is taking place.”

If properly used these platforms may help to find the initiators and intrapreneurs inside the company.

This statement is from HBR blog, which suggests that enterprise social media platforms – like Yammer – might help to support communication and collaboration, but the main point of the writer, Michael Schrage, is interesting. He claims that these tools can really support also the engagement and empowerment of the employees. And that is good news. If properly used these platforms may help to first find the initiators and intrapreneurs inside the company and then even support them in their actions. This is how Schrage describes the increased power of individuals even in the corporate world:

Initiators and intrapreneurs aren’t just using social media to make their efforts more transparent and accessible, they’re using these platforms to improvise and organize new ways to get the job done. They’re using these tool and technologies to add value to existing processes or, indeed, to create new “just-in-time” processes (and programs) that the C-suite and other senior managers had never envisioned. Social media inside the enterprise and out lower the costs and increase the power of individuals to productively coalesce and coordinate on their own initiative.

This also opens up the huge potential of serendipitous findings also outside the firewalls of the corporation.

This also opens up the huge potential of serendipitous findings when social media platforms are actively and widely used inside and, if possible, also outside the firewalls of the corporation. The proper usage of these platforms might be the key to improve the innovation practices and to build the desired competitive edge. Schrage continues to explain the benefits of the platforms and he mentions undesigned and unplanned processes as part of the outcome:

The rise of social media platforms inside the enterprise and out now means that entire managements now see “emergent” leaders and processes. These aren’t designed for or planned; they materialize directly from the perceived needs of concerned individuals and teams who now have the ability to self-organize inside the firewall and out because of these media.

The challenge is in understanding, how much self-organizing is beneficial and how the emergence of unplanned and undesigned activities  is accepted and supported. Or do the managers still believe that in these turbulent conditions they are the ones who know best what kind of combinations of competences are needed in any given task and where they can be found inside the corporation. Or even if the given tasks are the most  productive ones…

What is the role of serendipity in this context?

Our approach towards serendipity has developed during the early years of Karostech, when we were involved in the development and management of some of the leading coworking scenes in the world – like netWork Oasis in Joensuu Science Park. The lessons learnt were valuable and the core message today is that innovative workspaces has to be designed keeping the serendipity aspect well in focus. This applies both for the design of physical space and the configuration of virtual collaboration platforms.  The outcome is a ”hybrid space” where innovation activities are supported  continuously. And the benefits can be harnessed best, when using serendipity management principles.

From innovation perspective we definitely need to encourage the new combinations of competences to emerge.

In a corporate world, where we are too busy to innovate, where employees are getting more decision power  and where “don’t make any plans, keep your focus in sagacity instead” – principle is becoming a winning formula, we surely have to respect the value created by serendipitous encounters and events. From innovation perspective we definitely need to encourage the new combinations of competences to emerge. The conclusion made by Scharage in the end of his blog makes an elementary point.

The bottom line: the most important impact of social media technologies comes from who — and what — they empower, not just the information they exchange. Do organizations appreciate and understand that these tools put them in the “empowerment” and not just the “better communications” business?

To empower the whole organization and especially those still unidentified initiators and intrapreneurs inside the company will give serendipity the chance to benefit your business, providing the much appreciated boost, which is needed for your company to thrive.


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