The connection between Organisational learning and collaboration through the deployment of Social Business Software and delivering an Open Innovation culture.

An Enterprise exhibits an Open Innovation focus when it is delivered through a learning oriented collaboration network within an organisation. Social Business Software (SBS) facilitates this collaboration. Learning is one of the key mechanisms to generate new knowledge and is the express purpose of collaborative relationships in an organisation.

The learning orientation toward a more collaborative enterprise environment has significant implications on how the firm innovates and retains its competitive advantage. Learning orientation is defined as the development of new knowledge or insights that have the potential to influence behavior through its values and beliefs within the culture of an organisation. (Slater and Narver, 1999)

The Successful deployment of SBS in an organisation will provide an opportunity to continually renew views on operations, processes and its resources. These learnings through collaboration will, over time, lead to enhanced organisational capabilities that cements the firms positioning in its business environment through more proactive decision making which ultimately results in competitive advantages.

SBS as a platform allows the firm to continuously learn, acquire and develop the new and relevant knowledge and skills that will keep up with and stay ahead of its competitors.

A business which has successfully deployed SBS will create an innovative firm that uses the interconnectedness of its people. This can be called a Dynamic Capability; as the platform allows a firm to quickly respond too and exploit the changing market environment. Over time this can lead to imitability. The firms capability to innovate stongly depends on its ability to gain, create and transfer knowledge and resources both within the firm and with its suppliers and customers. Collaboration and networking are becoming increasingly important to the innovation cycle within the enterprise.

To achieve this an organisation must have a viable innovation environment an environment that promotes knowledge transfer.

Organisations today have the ability through collaboration, networking and knowledge sharing to become more openly innovative. The boundary between the enterprise and its environment could be said to have become more permeable, enabling ideas and knowledge to flow more freely all underpinned by Social Business Software.


The concept of purposeful Ideation and Open Innovation

To start with any plan for idea creation or planning for innovation, one needs to understand group dynamics and the differences in personalities of individuals and we need to know how to use this knowledge to manage groups to use this knowledge to guide the group in a productive way; establish an atmosphere in which the participants are willing to share their ideas and build on others’ ideas; maintain the energy level of the participants and enable them to stay focused on the task; and finally connect their previous knowledge and
experience to the current situation.

Remember that creativity is manifested by expressing unusual thoughts and that collaboration must be interesting and stimulating.

In the enterprise, we are looking for Interactivists.

Interactivists are not willing to return to a previous state, to settle for things
as they are, or to accept the future that appears to confront them. They believe
that the future can be created and is dependent upon what one does between
now and then. In planning, the process, not the plan, is the most important
product. Interactivists dissolve a problem by changing the nature of either the
entity that has it, or altering the environment in order to eliminate the problem
entirely. They idealize by designing a desirable future and inventing ways to bring
it about. Firstly it is important to give all stakeholders of an organization an opportunity to participate in the ideation process. Everyone needs to see and understand certain scenarios that the business is catering for. Social business software can help an organnisation with flexibility and responsiveness in real time and  enables it to withstand change rapidly. This gives the organization more control over what lies ahead. Second, you need to consider all the subsystems of the organization, as well as the systems surrounding it to be part of the problem and the solution. This makes 

you mindful of the impact of the future decisions on the organization in its
entirety. Involving all concerned parties in the decision-making process ensures
that all parties are heard and all issues are covered. This leads to better, more
informed decisions.
Third, Social Business Software promotes participation. A participative climate helps employees
believe that they are important assets in the organization and that they can make
a difference. Participants in the process may include
employees, top management, shareholders and clients. So the ability to both co-ordinate top-down and bottom-up decision making is made possible.
process is advantageous for their in-depth knowledge and expertise at the 

Fourth, SBS supports an environment that facilitates employee
empowerment. Employee empowerment involves an individual’s sense of self determination and autonomy in influencing work outcomes. Empowered employees see themselves as integrated into the
key political channels for getting work done in organizations.
This gives them a sense of personal and professional satisfaction, which leads to
increased productivity.
Fifth, SBS acknowledges creativity and appreciates out-of-the-box thinking.
Participants are encouraged to be as creative as possible in coming up with the
new best practices and innovations for the enterprise.
Teams are encouraged to be as imaginative and creative as possible. This can lead to breakthroughs for the organization and the
entire industry.
Sixth, it facilitates ease of implementation.

Important aspects of the IP
methodology are transparency and awareness are critical. Being transparent
addresses and manages the employees’ feelings of apprehension and fear of the
unknown. This lessens the resistance and facilitates buy-in. SBS can be

used for a specific project within a particular department, as well as for the
strategic goals of an entire organization. It can also be used for initiatives of
private organizations, non-profit organizations, government agencies and cities
all over the world.