Friday, May 8, 2009


This morning a couple of the team went to Fastbreak, part of Vibewire's e-festival of ideas (which is, in turn, part of the Australian Innovation Festival).

It took the place of the weekly social media coffee on Friday mornings and was a coming together of a range of people discussing 'The biggest challenge to innovation'.

There were five speakers, covering the question from five angles; The four Cs of innovation, - creativity, commercialisation, collaboration and connections - plus a fifth – conversation.

* Creativity - Jye Smith (@jysemith)
* Connection - Scott Drummond (@Scott_Drummond)
* Collaboration - Isadore Biffin (@IsadoreBiffin)
* Commercialisation - Elias Bizannes (@liako)
* Conversation - Matt Moore (@Innotecture)

So... all the details out of the way, how was it?

Really interesting actually. I am not good in the mornings and it was an 8am start in Ultimo so the event for me started with a couple of mint teas while I met some familiar faces from other social media events, and a few new ones too.

Then the 4 minute presentations started.

Jye challenged us to be more creative in everything we do, and to create processes and structures which encourage creativity. He also asked what the difference was between innovation and creativity.

Scott told us to look not to the size of a network, but at the latent potential within that network.

Isadore reminded us to involve others in our projects as they bring experties and ideas we may not have considered.

I won't forget Elias' explanation of the supply/demand theory; a beautiful man can go to the gym all he likes, but if he doesn't know how to create demand for his product he will leave a nightclub alone. (After the presentations were over I spent half an hour in Elias' group, discussing commercialisation challenges - a very interesting discussion).

But the soundbite takeaway for me goes to Mark who gave us a quote from Theodore Zeldin from his book Conversation (and apologies if its a slight paraphrase - I didnt jot it down quickly enough to repeat word for word):
A conversation is an interaction which both parties enter with a willingness to change, and come out slightly different.
I think this is something PR people (and our clients) should always remember when we claim to be having conversations with our audiences/stakeholders/customers. A conversation is not a one way dialogue in which you convince the customer to your way of thinking. A true conversation will change the client as well as the customer.

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