What Will Innovation Look Like in 2013?

Over the past decade, I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked with some amazing thinkers who challenge traditional business norms. They fuel creativity, disrupt markets, and invent futuristic products. They go off into a cave to create new and needed things, yet the power of their impact is at its greatest when sharing with the world.

Trending Themes for 2013:

Communities of Interest (online and offline) 
Bringing people together around a common interest or shared passion is a no brainer, but how can businesses do this when everyone is so busy. Well, the first part is establishing that it’s okay to tinker on passion projects in a safe space that cultivates discovery and exploration. Using digital spaces, such as Batterii’s platform, gives companies tremendous advantages to connect this energy in a productive environment. Communities can be launched around potential growth areas or even areas that might bring people together with a shared fascination. These types of spaces, paired with weekly or monthly creative sessions to discuss and build ideas, can provide a powerful framework for new business innovations.

Moving Design Upstream 
Design continues to make inroads up the innovation continuum. What manifested as “design thinking” methodologies provided designers with a repeatable process that business leaders could relate to and understand. Design will need to make a larger jump in 2013 to continue this. Design thinking is tired. It needs a jump-start that introduces new methodologies and tools into the picture.

Inspiration Management 
2013 will be the year that inspiration emerges as a practice in business. While sites like Pinterest (Social inspiration) and Fab.com (inspired e-commerce) continue to build great online followings, businesses will try to make sense of this cultural phenomenon. The common thread exists in every person’s fascination with curating lists of information for others to experience and digest. Like online museums, inspiration (and the practice of managing that inspiration) will pop-up inside of businesses as a way to share information and springboard new ideas/thinking. Our teams have been working in this space for quite a while, and our Batterii platform is strategically positioned to be here for companies who want to understand its power.

Mobile Consumer Research 
Remember focus groups? Well, they are a changing. Mobile devices have introduced a unique opportunity for consumers to play a more active role in participating in research and solution-building. At Batterii, we use our mobile app by launching missions, where consumers can capture photos and stories wherever they are and submit to a shared space with brands.

Combinatorial Play 
Companies will look to combine inventions to create more novel creations. To get there, the adoption of methods like Combinatorial Play may be employed to get teams exploring by combining two or more features and/or functions into one product that might seem odd at first. Brands will look to create viral products that sell themselves through unique and helpful product descriptions.

 

About the Author:

Chad Reynolds is Founder & CCO of Batterii. For the last decade, Chad has been a leader in design, innovation and co-creation, pioneering new ways for global brands to accelerate innovation across diverse teams. His experience includes leading innovation initiatives for GE Healthcare, Nike, Inc., Procter & Gamble and Warner Bros.