Digital Conversations

Implementing Innovation in the Digital Era

6th September 2012

Last week the Reading Room Brisbane office held an event which focused on implementing innovation in the digital era. Speakers included Microsoft Australia CTO Greg Stone; Glenn Walker, CIO of the Queensland Department of Community Safety; and Reading Room’s Tom Voirol, Global Head of User Experience.

While all of the speakers took a different approach to discussing how they implement innovation in their own organisations, a common thread appeared; implementing innovation needs research, user feedback and lots of effort, whether the solution is in the digital environment or not.

Speaker highlights

Asking people what they want is not research
People either don’t know what they want or want something entirely unrealistic. Research needs based on observing people and understanding how they live and what their motivations are, to identify what it is they need.

If you build it they still may not come
Building a solution that meets a need requires a ‘rinse and repeat’ approach that capitalises on feedback. So if you build it they may not come to the first iteration but perhaps to the 5th iteration after you have tested and tried again (and again).

It is ok to fail
If you don’t try and fail then it’s not really innovating. Take measured risks and try to think like the people you are innovating for (human insight).

Get management to allow you to fail
Setting aside a small amount you’re willing to lose on a prototype which turns out to be of no value can save you having to spend a big amount on a product/service that turns out to be of no value.

Work with what you know
It is ok to ‘borrow’ ideas. Take inspiration from existing success instead of trying to reinvent the wheel. The solution isn’t always drawn out and complicated. It can be quick and easy.

Innovation is a cycle – not a process
Just when you think you have implemented a dynamic, whiz bang solution that people love, there is no time to rest on your laurels, it’s time to start over again. Innovation thrives on momentum.


This process is contextualised in the following flowchart, which shows the steps to implementing a usable and innovative solution.
Innovation flowchart

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avatarby Desley
Project Manager, Reading Room Brisbane

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