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  • Mainly about engagement and collaboration using social media and events, with some asides on living in London. More about David Wilcox and also how the blog started.
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Dear David Wilcox,

I think the approach was ground breaking and the result more than encouraging; congratulations for the good job you and the team did. The fact that your proposal did not win is not surprising – but does not mean anything. One has to admit that it would be have been risky form the OTS’ point of view to select a consortium representing an entirely new approach which has never proven to work out in this context. However, they missed at the same time the opportunity to demonstrate that without risk-taking no innovation will emerge. I am confident that other will follow your example and that in the long run this collaboration model will be accepted.

Bests

Rolf Lührs
(Hamburg, Germany)

Re: "We weren’t about trying to build a proprietary, monolithic new system to bring everyone to us, we just wanted to leverage what was out there already. Unfortunately, I don’t think that makes for a very sexy pitch...”

From personal experience, this is so similar to what's happening within our own organisation.

Once the country websites are out the way and the international alumni site dev is on track, I intend to devote time to the "leverage" strategy - see what we can do in parallel to the "proprietary" route. Then watch for six months and see which one works better. I don't see us ever abandoning proprietary but if the results back it, I can see a greater percentage of my resources being aimed at the "leverage" strategy. Interesting stuff...!

I love revisiting these kinds of posts with a bit of hindsight. It's always rewarding to see how things move on and what comes to light as a result.

Tom Steinburg and Ed Mayo's 'Power of Information' report touches on government commissioning policy in relation to 'existing tools':

http://www.commentonthis.com/powerofinformation/#marker10732

They recommend avoiding replication and looking at what people are already doing out there... which is how I understand the innovationexchange was geared to slot into existing communities and tools.

The responses to the report indicate that the message got across to some extent:

http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/newsroom/news_releases/2007/070625_info_res.aspx
http://www.commentonthis.com/powerresponse/#marker11318

"The Government agrees that needless duplication is unsatisfactory. Government should neither smother nor crowd out innovators. The strength of new technologies is that, for example, a substantial self-help discussion forum with many tens of thousands of members can be run by one person as a volunteer. Or, indeed, ownership may be far from clear, being in the hands of many volunteers and stakeholders."

But also points to the possible issues that won't be resolved in a hurry:

http://www.commentonthis.com/powerresponse/#marker11319

"However, in a strict procurement, accountability and legal framework, it is challenging for government to rely wholly upon such organisations for delivering advice, especially on sensitive or controversial issues. Such challenges are often encountered when working in the offline world with the third sector and can be resolved with an appropriate risk management approach."

The context is quite different - the report is about public sector information rather than innovation, but I think the issue about procurement procedures is relevant.

It's really difficult to reconcile 'due diligence' in commissioning with emergent innovation processes, which precludes many funding routes for them.

Perhaps that will change with time. "Strict procurement, accountability and legal frameworks" might give way to structures that are more amenable to emergent innovation practices: distributed decision-making, transparency, and open source.

I'll try revisit this idea again in a year or so - see what's happened. ;)

I love revisiting these kinds of posts with a bit of hindsight. It's always rewarding to see how things move on and what comes to light as a result.

Tom Steinburg and Ed Mayo's 'Power of Information' report touches on government commissioning policy in relation to 'existing tools':

http://www.commentonthis.com/powerofinformation/#marker10732

They recommend avoiding replication and looking at what people are already doing out there... which is how I understand the innovationexchange was geared to slot into existing communities and tools.

The responses to the report indicate that the message got across to some extent:

http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/newsroom/news_releases/2007/070625_info_res.aspx
http://www.commentonthis.com/powerresponse/#marker11318

"The Government agrees that needless duplication is unsatisfactory. Government should neither smother nor crowd out innovators. The strength of new technologies is that, for example, a substantial self-help discussion forum with many tens of thousands of members can be run by one person as a volunteer. Or, indeed, ownership may be far from clear, being in the hands of many volunteers and stakeholders."

But also points to the possible issues that won't be resolved in a hurry:

http://www.commentonthis.com/powerresponse/#marker11319

"However, in a strict procurement, accountability and legal framework, it is challenging for government to rely wholly upon such organisations for delivering advice, especially on sensitive or controversial issues. Such challenges are often encountered when working in the offline world with the third sector and can be resolved with an appropriate risk management approach."

The context is quite different - the report is about public sector information rather than innovation, but I think the issue about procurement procedures is relevant.

It's really difficult to reconcile 'due diligence' in commissioning with emergent innovation processes, which precludes many funding routes for them.

Perhaps that will change with time. "Strict procurement, accountability and legal frameworks" might give way to structures that are more amenable to emergent innovation practices: distributed decision-making, transparency, and open source.

I'll try revisit this idea again in a year or so - see what's happened. ;)

Thanks Saul - as you say, some common messages are surfacing: I see make the first step in planning what you Don't do; build on what others have done; facilitate open collaboration. But - what are the organisational conditions for that to happen? I'm starting some discussion over at The Membership Project on how far innovation can start within organisations.

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