Innovation Social is 18 months old and as a mother of two children I know that 18 months is far more significant than say, one or two years old - so time for a quick review on what we have achieved.
A fantastic group of people - some may call it a Curious People support group
The Innovation Socials - now numbering over 70 people - are a group of people who I feel very privileged to know. A combination of strategists, innovation directors, MDs, CEOs, Founders, consultants. What unites them? They are all leaders in their field, curious and fiercely opinionated. When we are together it feels like an innovation fuelled debating society and though we have come together to collaborate in the name of Innovation, there is always a faint smell of competitiveness.
A few of the Socials need special mention as they have been there since the beginning and have been a valuable source of advice - huge thanks to Amelia, Anjali, Francesca, Daniele, Scott, Dan, Lizzie, the Google massive and Nigel.
Show and tells for grown-ups
We have been fortunate to have some fantastic companies, initiatives, experiences open their doors. At each session, someone who is perhaps competitive to the entire group has an honest and open discussion and everyone joins in.
In the early days the discussion was mostly about what Innovation is and why are clients so slow to adopt new things. Things have clearly matured as today discussions are increasingly about the innovation initiatives each agency/company is undertaking and how they are going.
Innovation Social aims to hold one formal, open to the public, events a year. We held our first Innovation Stories, case studies of innovation, when we were just 8 months old. At the time getting people who could provide meaty Innovation Stories was a struggle - as we plan Innovation Stories 2014 we are finding we have too many stories to choose from. Things have moved on.
Is Innovation Social still needed?
Innovation Social set-out with two main objectives:
- To help provide more clarity around what an Innovation Director is. I don't think we need to focus on this anymore - we have all found our way and to be honest each company and client has different needs.
- To help drive change in the industry - making clients braver and asking businesses to only seek to make things people want as opposed to make people want things (thanks John V Willshire for the phrase!). This still stand true and it's what we, the Socials, are all about and always will be.
What next for Innovation Social?
Why fix it if it is not broken - so we will continue to meet informally as a group and share what we have learnt and experienced. We are also holding our next Innovation Stories with a line-up I only dreamed about 18 months ago - huge thanks to BBH, WolffOlins, DigitasLBi, Smithery, Real-time content labs, Libertine and Albion for taking part.
A book is next on the agenda - a book from the Innovation Socials who are undoubtedly some of the cleverest and most interesting people in the industry would be a humdinger. And we already have a publisher interested. So now - time to find some spare, spare, spare time to make it happen.
A final thank you
A huge thank you to the Socials for making it wonderful and Daniele for being the co-founder and Creative Social for being our big brother.
Though its always best to be the little sister...