The major evolution in innovation isthe accessibility to collaborativeactivities regarding innovation. Eventhough conventional real-timeactivities such as brainstorms andfocus group workshops are difficult tosurpass in the sense of qualitativeoutcome, there are other factorsregarding electronic collaborationthat has the potential of improvinginnovation altogether.
Improvement factors due to onlinecollaboration
In summary, there are four, closelyintertwined, primary factors that areimproved by online collaboration,where the second two are derivedfrom the first two.
The paramount strength of onlineservices is their ubiquitousaccessibility. Hence, electroniccollaboration becomes lessconstrained to the specific momentwhere all invited participants havesimultaneous spare time in theiragendas. Instead, with onlinecollaboration, activities can be moreflexible, or even asynchronous, sothat participants can collaborate whenTHEY (individually) have the time todo so. As a consequence, innovationbecomes on-demand, user-driven, andas ubiquitous as the Internet itself.
It is both time consuming andproblematic to bring many people tothe same location, especially if theyare geographically dispersed. Thereare two major drawbacks of involvinglong-distance collaborators thatnegatively influence the cost-efficiency of group creativity sessions;1) time-loss due to travel times, 2)increased costs due todisproportionate travel expenses. Onthe other hand, if we choose toreduce travel time-loss and costs byonly inviting nearby innovators, wetake a substantial risk of losingmomentous competence in thecreativity loop and thereby miss outon potent and creative feedback andideas.Reversely, with online collaborationpeople can communicate using thesame medium, regardless of theirphysical location. Hence, accessibilitywill be location neutral andparticipants can be given theopportunity to collaborate at theplace of their own choice.
”INNOVATION FACTORS IMPROVED BY ONLINECOLLABORATION”
Håkan Ozan, CSC June 2009