How to Create an Innovation Community

Innovation communities are a new and vitally important focal point for innovation in industries where the enterprise has or needs extensive contacts with its supply chain, vendor partners of development communities. This ecosystem is an important source of practical and implementable ideas and by inviting contributions, the enterprise can also seed acceptance of change in the wider community.

This major case study from Innovation Management “How to Build Innovation Communities” looks at the practical steps of one innovation community, in the mobile sector. The initiative captured over 1,000 new ideas, 29 going through to implementation, in its first six months online, and galvanised wider community activity and loyalty for the company. The document outlines best practice case in innovation community development, looks at the value of ecosystems as a forum for community building and innovation, and creates a new context for the ‘innovation community’. In practical terms it looks at the development of an ideagora strategy, steps to implementation, and guidelines for what needs to be done, what can go wrong, and how to keep the ideas coming and the contributors motivated.

Readers will learn how to make the case for an innovation community and the importance of tying this into a broader social engagement strategy, and into the change management process. At the end of the case study they should be in a position to plan and implement their own innovation community strategy.

By Haydn Shaughnessy

About the author


Haydn ShaughnessyHaydn Shaughnessy, senior editor, has worked at the epicentre of innovation in a 25 year career spanning journalism, consultancy and research management. He began his technology career as a manager of application research in broadband, mobile and downstream satellite services and has maintained a continuous production of analysis and intellectual material around innovation since then, having written on Wired Cities, Fibre to the Home, Future Search Engines, and international collaboration. He is an emerging thought leader in systemic innovation building on his PhD research in large scale economic transformations. He was previously a parter at The Conversation Group, the leading global social technologies consultancy where he helped companies such as Alcatel Lucent, Volvo, General Motors, Symbian Foundation, and Unilever adapt to the current transformations in the global digital economy. He has written for the Wall St Journal,, Harvard Business Review, and many newspapers as well as making documentaries for the BBC, Channel 4 and RTE. His consultancy and research work encompasses changing enterprise structures, new business models and long-term trends in attitudes. He is in demand as a speaker on the impact of changing attitudes on business and on gearing innovation to new consumer requirements.