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Summary:

Spigit is a leading enterprise social innovation platform. Paul Pluschkell, CEO and co-founder of the company, talked to me about the product and Spigit’s perspective on innovation management, which supports the “edge to the core” philosophy that is top of mind in many high-impact organizational settings

Screen shot of Spigit contest on Facebook

Screen shot of SpigitPaul Pluschkell is the CEO and co-founder of Spigit, a leading enterprise social innovation platform designed to support organizations through four key tasks of crowd-based innovation:

  • Activate crowds in the way that Facebook does.  Rewards and recognition for action.
  • Enable crowds to participate via a tool that melds with all major communication, collaboration, and project management systems.
  • Empower crowds to voice their preferences and add their expertise.
  • Guide the process through built-in game mechanics that match organizational needs.

Pluschkell talked to me about Spigit’s perspective on innovation management: “It’s more than just crowds, it’s really finding the right ideas and people” and then working through those four tasks. This kind of innovation management is green field: Spigit and its clients aren’t replacing existing tools and practices, they are creating new approaches for supporting transparency around innovation. Employees and customers are both more motivated to participate and do a better job when they can watch innovation take place. This has helped Spigit grow 300 percent quarter-over-quarter.

Being “new” opens the door to being creative around how innovation management tools are used both for internal innovation and outreach to customers. A look at the company’s case studies shows the variety of ways Spigit has played a role in innovation management. Spigit supports small and large organizations, short and long-term projects, government and business. The application has been the engine behind government outreach — helping New York City work with employees for improvements, for example — and will be used at the Fortune Brainstorm TECH conference.

Pluschkell explained:

Other innovation management companies talk about a process of getting ideas and how manage those ideas. The problem is when you think like that, you’re using an industrial, top-down, model with social. If you believe there’s a new future of management, you need new tools. You want to take the edge back to the core. You want to get to the front line where things are happening. You need to connect the core to the edge to get the information directly and undistorted. Really being social and changing the way the process works.

These “edge to the core” ideas resonated with me given how organizations are becoming more internally and externally networked — largely with the goal of bringing knowledge from the edge of the organization to where it can be used by the core. You can’t sit in an ivory tower and be effective. You must know what’s going on at the edge and be able to interact effectively all along that frontier.

The “edge to the core” idea is top of mind in many high-impact organizational settings. The U.S. Naval Postgraduate School hosts The Center for Edge Power, for example, and the highly popular book, The Power of Pull, has these ideas at its heart. Multiple prizes are being offered for organizational systems that support this kind of approach: WorldBlu Democratic Companies and Forrester Groundswell Awards, for example.

Organizations can use Spigit’s tools to support an edge-focused innovation management approach. McKinsey reports that the top benefit of Web 2.0 technologies is increasing the speed of access to needed knowledge.  In an innovation context this dynamic is even more important as the ideas aren’t typically filed away someplace where you can find them if you just look. You need actual access to the ideas on the edge and the ability to grow these ideas in context.

Erin Schumpert, marketing manager at Spigit, walked me through how one client, Overstock.com, has used several different Spigit platforms to reach out to the edge, wherever it might be:

Screen shot of Spigit contest on FacebookAlthough Overstock has run some more focused [innovation] challenges with Spigit, the company has focused a lot of its innovation efforts on a larger call for ideas. After only a year, Overstock.com has implemented a successful collaboration platform aimed at generating new ideas for cost-savings, waste reduction, go-green initiatives, and customer experience improvements. The company has experienced a visible boost in employee morale, and Spigit’s idea management solution has allowed for a significant increase in cross-functional collaboration throughout the organization.

Overstock.com is also an early user of SpigitEngage for Facebook (again, the edge is wherever you find it). You can take a look at the Spigit Facebook app yourself.

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  1. Thank you Terri for your continued coverage of this exciting and expanding space. As mentioned in your previous piece on market-leader Brightidea, (http://bit.ly/pPTHWC), ‘many enterprise collaboration tools can provide basic ideation support, but for full innovation management you’ll need a system focused on the process.’

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