Innovation through Social Business Software

The recent launch of our software platform, Open Innovation, provides an a excellent opportunity to engage in a discussion about the importance of innovation, specifically in regard to workplace efficiency and communication. Around the globe, the past few years have witnessed significant infrastructural changes, not only in the way we communicate with one another, but in what we choose to say. Business and government are no exception.

The traditional structure of communication, which generally employed a one-way stream of communication from management to employees, has been shown to lead to waste and inefficient productivity. The Canadian Federal Government has recently instituted a program known as the ‘Innovation Campaign’ which encourages employees across different government departments to start thinking of ways to reduce costs. Again, traditional cost-cutting methods, such as laying off a large segment of the work force, may provide a temporary boost in profits to companies, but over the long term such a strategy does not solve inherent process and organizational problems.

Through platforms such as Open Innovation, genuine innovation can take place, helping businesses and other organizations to understand in greater detail not only what they are doing, but how they are doing it. In many companies, especially those that have more than twenty employees, lines of communication can become inflexible. Executives are often unaware of how an individual employee conducts his or her day, or exactly what that employee contributes to the company.

The employee, on the other hand, is unaware of the goals facing the executive. Because the executive and the employee have no simple method of communicating each of their needs to the other, both continue to labor without really understanding how they could effectively tailor their efforts so that the two of them could more easily accomplish both of their goals. The same scenario is mirrored in government settings. The leaders of a country, for example, do not necessarily know the what a typical public servant does, and how their actions contribute to the functionality of the government.

These problems are easy to solve. By increasing the flow of accurate information to both sides of the management/employee divide, more effective decisions can be made. By creating an apolitical forum where participants can simply state their needs without fear of retribution, but rather as a way of improving their daily working lives, the company as a whole can function more efficiently, and cut costs in the process.

This innovative process allows employees to feel more engaged in their work environment, which produces a positive feedback loop of constant reliable information, which correspondingly allows executives to make better decisions. For more information on the launch of the Open Innovation platform that took place on July 28, 2010, please feel free to contact our office.

Christopher Smith, CEO of, provider of enterprise content management systems

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