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IBM Jams for Innovation.

Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum on July 28, 2006

I’ve always thought there was something fundamentally wrong with the notion of the wisdom of crowds. To me, it all depended on the crowd. Stupid crowd, no wisdom (mobs are stupid and they are crowds). Smart crowd, you can get wisdom. So when IBM says it is going to have an open-source conversation with its clients, employees and their families about innovating within some of the most important issues, I’m impressed. THAT’s a crowd.

IBM completed its first round of jamming this week and is filtering all the threads and ideas to come back for a second round in Sept. CEO Sam Palmisano who is one CEO who “gets” innovation in a deep, fundamental way (and understands the difference between innovation and technology), is putting $100 million behind the final choices that come out of the Sept. jam. That’s serious coin.

This is what IBM sent those lucky enough to participate in the jam:

“The first phase of InnovationJam is over. With 53,000 jammers worldwide brainstorming tomorrow’s next breakthrough innovations, the discussion was both interesting and inspiring. Now, we’re looking forward to refining our ideas in the second phase of the Jam which starts September 12 at 10 a.m. U.S. Eastern Time.

What’s Next?
IBM researchers, solution developers and partners are currently sifting through the many concepts that surfaced during Phase I. Working closely with leaders from the participating Jam companies, we’ll distill the thinking into a core set of the most promising ideas. Then in September we’ll reconvene online during Phase 2 of InnovationJam to refine these top ideas into real and actionable solutions.”

My only problem is with the word “actionable.” I know managers are sick and tired of consultants giving them decks and heavy papers describing their problems that really can’t be acted on. So they insist on solutions that are “actionable.” But can’t we come up with a better word?

Reader Comments

John Stevens

August 10, 2006 12:15 AM

How about 'feasible', 'viable' 'realistic' or good old 'good'. Please not 'doable'. Actually, let's drop the redundant adjective completely - a solution that isn't 'actionable' is no solution at all.

Any word from the inside as to how this went?

Leo fang

August 18, 2006 5:22 PM

I think the problem is not about "actionable", but the "percentage" of actionable. with 52,000jamers,tons of ideas could be expected. even 10% of those are "actionable"(or what ever), IBM hits.Actually even 1%, IBM earns.

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Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.

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