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Collaboration, inspiration and the connected mind
Delaney Turner 270002T14M firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  lotus baforum business_analytics collaboration cognos cognos10 ibmsoftware
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Our first in what will no doubt be an extensive exploration of the innovative features of IBM Cognos 10 looks at the increasing importance of collaboration in creating the ideas that drive better business outcomes.
Behind every great innovation, invention or paradigm shift is a great idea. But the jury is still out on how and where this stroke of genius comes from, and better yet, how you nurture it.
In some cases, an idea can be a single thought, an illuminating moment – a flash, a blink or an epiphany. After years of working on the general theory of relativity, Einstein saw the solution in a dream where “a huge map of the universe outlined itself in one clear vision.”1
Newton framed an idea after observing an apple fall to the ground. While Roy Plunkett invented teflon by accident when he was attempting to make a new CFC refrigerant.2
Ideas can also germinate over time. Steven Johnson (seen in his TED talk) spoke recently about the notion of the “slow hunch.”
As he puts it, lots of good ideas have long incubation periods.
It took years for Dr. John Snow to find the source of London’s cholera epidemic, articulate the cause and then convince others how to implement the solution.
Consider also the Sputnik launch in 1957. At the time, scientists figured out how to track the satellite in space by following its time signatures. Later, they were asked to use the reverse idea to track something on earth from space, which led to the first GPS.
It is this thoughtful, collective idea-making that we should be fostering, Johnson says. We ought to build spaces and “liquid networks” where people can come together, be creative, and share skills and interests to feed new ideas. In his view, “chance favors the connected mind.”
Social and “liquid” networks
Fortunately, technology now is well suited to this paradigm. We have the Internet, social networks and collaborative platforms for sharing information and content at any time and in any place.
In short, we have the means to apply these principles of collaboration and creativity in our work and lives.
Smart organizations pull creative elements out of compartments or silos and integrate them into the mainstream. In this kind of collaborative environment, people proactively exchange knowledge and cooperate with one another.
Collective intelligence improves an organization’s ability to be ready for what comes. Most notably, it can serve as a hotbed for adaptation, new ideas and innovation.
Creativity in a complex world
This year’s IBM Global CEO Study suggests that the way forward in our challenging times is through creativity and innovative thinking.
Frank Kern, Senior VP and Managing Partner of IBM Global Services, notes that responding effectively to the world’s increasing complexity requires operational rigor as well as creativity at all levels of the organization. “We must innovate our way through this,” he told attendees to this year's Information On Demand conference.
Successful organizations need the ability to collaborate across boundaries, to share tactics and ideas. Add to that a platform that invites the free-flow of data and information, and you have a network of informed, connected individuals who together can find innovative ways to do business.
Collaborating with IBM Cognos 10
IBM Cognos 10 provides collaboration and social networking capabilities to connect people to information to ideas – to make the creative decisions that drive better results.
The platform features access to reports, analysis, blogs, wikis and message boards that let you share and assess information and gather input from different perspectives. So you can build a central hub of collective intelligence that everyone can use.
It’s all about putting people and content together to make that spark or slow germination happen. Chance may favor a connected mind. Collective and business intelligence can nurture the next great idea.
Learn More about Collaboration with IBM Cognos 10