When it came to innovation, 2015 was without a doubt the year of digital technology. Every conversation, product or ad came with a spiel on the merits of what could be called a connected revolution!
With all these new uses made possible by technological marvels (smart watches, drones, smart beanies and other gadgets), it’s hard to pinpoint THE trend for 2016, the one that all the biggest experts can agree on and that Santa will be lugging around for everyone come Christmas…
The good news is that you’ve come to the right blog to stay on top of the latest trends in open innovation. Plus, Santa doesn’t know any more than you do what the trends for 2016 will be at this point. And if your resolution for this year was to transition from experienced observer to major player in open innovation, then here’s our belated Christmas present to you: a special kit to help you become a full-blown expert!
Our (very simple) how-to guide has five steps you need to follow to the letter in order to become the toast of the town’s hippest innovation get-togethers:
Step 1: Choose a topic
Identifying a topic that really interests you isn’t as easy as it sounds. Innovation is full of categories and sub-categories that have been explored to varying degrees. It’s up to you to choose the one you want to focus on. Ideally, you want to go with one that hasn’t been fully explored, or even a new area, so that you can quickly gain recognition as the top expert in the field!
Step 2: Anyone can become an expert!
You just have to want it and go after it! Always keep in mind that even the biggest innovation big-wigs didn’t know anything when they started out. Anything can be learned. Becoming an expert depends more on your level of enthusiasm than on being blessed by the god of innovation.
Step 3: Build your e-reputation
This became a thing in late 2010, so let’s hope you haven’t missed out on the biggest trend from 2011! This was the year when stars, politicians, athletes and professionals became aware of the need to promote a positive image on the web. Google your name and see what comes up. If your Viadeo profile is the only result you get, update your LinkedIn profile, Twitter account, Facebook page and G+ account!
Step 4: Build your network
Now that you have a major presence on social networks, it’s time to get busy and win some people over! Dust off your best assets (enthusiasm, professional photo, proof of innovation experience, etc.) and get in touch with the influencers in the field. Don’t worry, they don’t bite (at least, not the ones I know) and you have a lot of options to choose from: following, private messaging, adding them as friends, asking for recommendations, and more. Used wisely, these methods for contacting people will help you make a place for yourself in this new ecosystem.
Step 5: Welcome to the real world!
You’ve now made it to the real world. It’s hard to believe given that most people you pass on the street are more connected to their electronic devices than the people around them. This is where you come in! While few newbies go from digital interactions (step 4) to face-to-face meetings, your growing expertise is going to make you want to have real discussions. Why, you ask? Because eye contact and a smile combined with a well-rehearsed speech are 100 times more effective for building your credibility and your network than a poke or a retweet. I recommend that you also check out innovation events in your region. These are perfect for networking and meeting the people you want to get to know! Go easy on the canapés, you’re there to network! 🙂
I’d also like to take this opportunity to wish you an excellent 2016 full of big trends and great challenges! Becoming an expert is certainly one of the easiest and most important ones. Best of luck!