Category: Innovative culture

Fostering culture of innovation: practices, benefits and case studies

Collaborative cultureCulture changeInnovative culture

Storytelling as a driver of organizational change

Beyond the marketing purposes, storytelling is also useful as a leadership skill to motivate employees or other stakeholders to become engaged with the destination’s mission purpose. So long as the destination needs to engage a large network of stakeholders and build a new culture of cooperation and innovation, storytelling is a key strategy to sell the vision and convince stakeholders of the need for a culture change to accomplish the mission.

Stories can change our way of thinking and influence our feelings. They can drive an organizational culture change by opening people’s minds and building capacity of mutual understanding to enhance cooperation. They also have the power to make people envision a better future and how to overcome all the obstacles. Stories are pull strategy, as they allow people to decide by themselves, which is a key success factor of effective influence.

The art of persuasion consists of uniting ideas with emotions, and emotions are best conveyed through the form of a compelling story. Arousing the audience’s emotions spurs energy in them and moves them to take action. This is the power of storytelling.

Do you remember any story that moved you to change your attitude on a certain issue?

Collaborative business modelsCollaborative cultureInnovationInnovative cultureOpen innovation

The Marketing Plan 3.0: Developing a network of professional contributors

The development of a network of professional contributors should entail the following steps:

  • Set innovation goals and metrics to track results. Considering all kinds of desired outputs, set innovation goals and objectives in accordance with the executive board and innovation advisors. Formulate specific, measurable and time-bounded objectives, and prioritize them to build the innovation system according to the real needs and guide the innovation efforts. Then, design a set of metrics to monitor the project’s results.
  • Draft a comprehensive list of the needed profiles encompassing researchers, idea generators, producers and experts in all fields, as long as innovation is to be carried out by groups including these four contributor profiles. Some of them may be Strategy consultants, IT consultants, environmental experts, without disregarding some professionals for content creation such as writers, graphic designers, photographers and audiovisual developers.
  • Research networks and identify potential contributors. Get to know them well to create a database including their skills, experience, education, achievements, professional interests, associated network, and personal remarks regarding their concerns, values and aspirations. Invite them to a business oriented presentation explaining the goals and operation of the Open Innovation System, also to sense their interest and vision.
  • Identify potential leaders. As the open innovation has to work as a decentralized system with many leaders, it is necessary to have one in each field of expertise at the very least. These should have collaborative mindsets and empowering leadership style to further engage other contributors. Further, there should be some key influencers and destination executives championing the open innovation development to involve new contributors.
  • Market contribution as an opportunity to showcase their skills, connect with like-minded professionals, build reputation within their professional community, get rewards according to their contribution, achieve visible results that may bring them more professional credit, etc. Collaborate with professional associations to search for contributors and to market open innovation contribution as a professional opportunity.
  • Design reward system. Research on the market fees for each type of contributor to have a comprehensive fee list considering field of expertise, experience, achievements, proven skills, and other relevant variables. As long as innovation challenges are to be driven by collaboration among contributors, there has to be a way to assess the value of each contribution, as the final result may be a mix of ideas coming from different innovators.
  • Organize a kick-off workshop and open challenge to showcase how the system works. Pose an easy challenge in which most contributors are likely to be rewarded. An initial success story is crucial to motivate contributors in engaging further. Listen to their opinions, reviews and suggestions for improvement. Thank them for their feedback and let them know how useful it has been to streamline the system.

Beyond these initial steps, there are other key success factors that should not be disregarded:

  • Building a culture of trust, innovation and collaboration
  • Searching and connecting with external innovation networks to cooperate
  • Encouraging contributors to travel to bring in new ideas from other destinations
  • Organize workshops to train in co-creation, marketing, leadership and other subjects
  • Identify needed infrastructure to facilitate and enhance collaborative innovation

Keep in mind as an innovation mantra that “those that will succeed are the ones that embrace creativity and experiment with different ways of reaching and engaging their customers”.

Do you think of other necessary tips or key success factors?

Collaborative cultureCulture changeInnovative cultureMarketing 3.0Strategy

The Marketing Plan 3.0: Overcoming barriers in the social media adoption

When introducing and trying to engage employees and community stakeholders in social media platforms, there may be many barriers, fears, concerns and attitudes that pose a cultural change challenge. Therefore, it is necessary to research and listen to these employees and community stakeholders on their opinions, visions and attitudes about engaging in social media to assess the need for a specific culture change and internal marketing strategy to deal with these obstacles. For instance, some of the barriers may be:

  • Fear of negative reaction from customers
  • Lack of time or internal resources
  • Fear of extra workload for the employees
  • Lack of knowledge and expertise
  • Not convinced about its profitability
  • Fear of losing privacy

Once all the barriers are well known, there has to be design and implementation of a Change Strategy to overcome them based on the following sequential patterns:

1. Create a guiding coalition ·   Identify and engage change agents as social media catalysts

·   Assemble a coherent group to lead the change

·   Integrate this team into the affected groups

·   Bring in champions in each group dedicated to social media success

2. Develop a clear vision ·   Create a catalyzing vision for the social media effort

·   Develop strategy in line with the overall vision

3. Share the vision ·   Communicate the vision in every possible way to the community

·   Commit executive and community leadership to supporting the vision

·   Coalition members should be role models for the community

1.    4. Empower people and remove obstacles ·   Organize training courses on storytelling and content creation

·   Organize training courses on social media adapted to all audiences

·   Change structures, systems, compensation and any factors that obstruct the social media effort

5. Secure consistent short-term wins ·   Make public and visible performance improvements

·   Celebrate victories in line with the overall  program vision

·   Reward and recognize those securing the wins

·   Publicize the progress of the project together with the contests

6. Consolidate and keep moving ·  Use momentum to gradually change all systems and processes that don’t support the program’s success

·  Enable change agents throughout the organization and community

·  Energize the project with consistent flow of new content of all types

7. Anchor the program in the organization and the community ·  New approach should be anchored in the culture of the community

·  Real key to social media success is in transforming the organization and community to the culture of a social enterprise

·  Maintain consistent action to further embed behaviors and discipline

 Do you think of other barriers or necessary steps to overcome the stated ones?

Collaborative cultureCulture changeInnovative cultureMarketing 3.0Strategy

The Marketing Plan 3.0: changing values and behaviors

The development of the Marketing Plan 3.0 may present two cultural challenges:

  • The need for developing a new set of values as organizational standards of behavior, as a key success factor of the new values driven marketing
  • The need to overcome barriers in the adoption of the social media and content marketing engagement by the employees and the local community

Beyond the life-changing experiences and the related stories, to keep the brand integrity and ensure the success of the new marketing endeavor it is necessary that the employees and partners’ behaviors faithfully reflect the preached values. Therefore, it is probably necessary to develop a culture change program, at least to harmonize certain critical behaviors throughout the destination stakeholder community.

Designed upon consensus among the key stakeholders and community leaders, there has to be a set of values underlying the behaviors to be promoted throughout the community. Such values should be cooperation, innovation and openness to new ideas, integrity and transparency, initiative, sustainability, solidarity, common good, etc. To convince stakeholders of assuming the new set of values, it is recommendable to elaborate a Case for Change, which contains the following pieces:

  • Context: why changes are needed now, stating opportunities and threats that justify it.
  • Changes: what has to change, who is to be affected and what does not have to change
  • Process: how the proposed changes are to be implemented and expected timing
  • Benefits: who benefits from the changes (destination, community, individuals, etc.)
  • Consequences: what would happen if these changes are delayed
  • Expectations: the role every stakeholder has to play
  • Commitment: leaders have to present the Case for Change to the community, stating their explicit commitments that ultimately make them accountable to the community.

Once the Case for Change has been defined, it’s time to implement it following five principles:

  • Train employees, partners and community members on how to apply the new set of values on a daily basis, with especial emphasis on their relationships with tourists.
  • Putting the new values into practice by changing behaviors
  • Leaders have to preach by example, becoming the key role models that inspire everybody
  • Ensure that everyone is aligned with the new values and behaviors, and correct if necessary
  • Celebrate results achieved by any employee or community member to encourage others

The key ideas of driving culture change to understand are that this has to be started from the leadership positions, well communicated to convince their organization or community while listening, understanding and addressing their possible resistance, preaching by example, achieving and celebrating results, and benefiting all stakeholders to prevent further resistance.

The Whitepaper on “Building a culture of collaboration and innovation” is to develop in detail the key factors to a successful cultural change into developing the desired attitudes.

Would you consider other points in designing and implementing the Case for change?

Collaborative business modelsCollaborative cultureInnovationInnovative cultureIntelligence

Destination Intelligence 3.0: attracting talent to the open innovation platform

The innovation platform should market its value proposition not only to the whole industry stakeholders throughout the region, but also to all potential contributors in and outside the industry. The process starts by identifying a pool of champions who are willing to showcase the benefits of open innovation for both contributors –solvers- and receivers –seekers-.

By identifying a group of visionaries in both sides of the platform, the conditions are set to face the first challenges, the ones which have to showcase how the open innovation works, and how it may  contribute to improving the competitiveness of the whole industry. As soon as a few of these innovation challenges show successful results and satisfaction in both sides of the innovation process, a greater group of early adopters is likely to become interested and eager to participate to some extent.

As stated before, beyond rewards, the great motivators to take into account are the will for contribution to the community’s progress and well-being, and the will for recognition and prestige among industry peers. Such motivators suggest two main strategies to attract talent:

  • Promote innovation challenges for non-profit purposes. Such challenges may be focused on helping destinations in developing countries or having suffered natural disasters, or mission driven tourism organizations, mostly related to environmental issues, like in ecotourism. Such challenges could be sponsored by private companies to offer some compensation.
  • Organization of events to award best contributors and give them public recognition.

These and other strategies should be supported by marketing the open innovation platform to potential contributors in their communities and favorite media channels, which would entail social media, magazines, journals, public presentations, etc.

A more detailed explanation about the operation of an open innovation system is to be provided in the Whitepaper “Envisioning open innovation in destinations”.

Do you think of other strategies or tactics to attract talent to the open innovation system?

Collaborative business modelsCollaborative cultureInnovationInnovative cultureIntelligence

Destination Intelligence 3.0: fostering contribution and collaboration in the open innovation

It is necessary to develop incentive systems to recognize and reward collaborative partnerships between innovators. Mind that the most powerful motivators that drive contribution are:

Contribution to the greater good. As long as innovations contribute to improve the community’s quality of life to some extent, this is itself highly rewarding. Intrinsic motivation is actually the primary driver, as a satisfactory result is already quite rewarding.

Peer recognition. One of the highest motivators –probably the highest- is the status and recognition attained through contributions. It is therefore crucial to find ways of recognizing contributors, rewarding them with appropriate community prestige.

Compensation. It is necessary to think of a flexible system of compensations, according to the various motivations within the pool of innovators. Beyond money rewards, it is necessary to find out other kinds of compensations that contributors would be willing to strive for.

Fostering collaboration in the innovation efforts poses many challenges, primarily related to the culture of trust, which has to be created over time, starting by the design of an appropriate system of rewards to tackle with critical issues such as intellectual property transfers and confidentiality, among other concerns.

The best way to start with collaborative innovation is in mission driven challenges that appeal to the contributors’ human spirit rather than for its compensation, which is actually likely to be symbolic or insignificant. The collaboration in non-profit challenges is expected to progressively weave interaction and networking among innovators, as well as trust among the frequent contributors. Such practice is also expected to inspire reflection about the design of collaboration systems for compensated challenges.

Can you think of other motivators or strategies to foster contribution in the open innovation system?

InnovationInnovative cultureIntelligenceIntelligence methodsMarketing 3.0

Destination Intelligence 3.0: Leveraging collective intelligence through open innovation

Beyond the aforementioned most conventional approaches, what sets destination intelligence 3.0 apart is the development of an open innovation system accessible to all the tourism industry stakeholders at a regional level.

An open innovation system works like a platform where innovation seekers -operators, tourism boards, governments, consultants, etc.- look for new ideas on how to tackle with their challenges by connecting with innovation solvers -trade professionals, consultants, creative designers, and experts in various fields- through open challenges where the problem is precisely formulated to help solvers envision possible solutions and submit proposals, which are to be assessed and rewarded as long as they help in solving the problem.

Among the posed challenges, there should be some non-rewarded ones for mission-driven purposes -cooperation with destinations in developing countries, destinations recovering from natural disasters, mission-driven destinations, etc.- to showcase how contribution to the greater good is one of the most powerful motivators in innovation, drawing the attention of a larger pool of creative talent than in other challenges.

Such a strategy is not only to support such mission-driven challenges, but also to raise awareness throughout the industry about the potential of mission-driven tourism, as the open innovation system leverages more intelligence and creativity for this type of purpose than for any other, hence providing mission-driven destinations with a natural competitive advantage, and compensating at least some of their constraints.

How do you envision such kind of open innovation challenges?

Collaborative business modelsCollaborative cultureInnovative cultureMarketing 3.0Strategy

Destination Marketing 3.0: Implementation

The implementation process of the new marketing system is to be progressive and flexible, depending on its performance compared to the destination’s traditional marketing. By keeping track of the new marketing key performance indicators, the executives are to decide to what extent the marketing budget should shift the priority towards the new marketing system and replace the traditional marketing tools.

This is expected to be a progressive shift that may take a few years, envisioning that the new marketing system is to cost much less than the traditional one, especially in the long term. As explained previously, the new marketing is about empowering, encouraging and facilitating stakeholders on co-creating stories, experiences and other contents to be marketed throughout the social networks, and this is not only a more effective marketing, but also a more cost effective one.

When implementing the new marketing strategies and tactics, there also has to be a new set of key performance indicators to monitor the success of the new marketing strategies. Upon tracking these metrics, we will decide whether to progressively shift budget allocation from conventional marketing to storytelling based marketing through social media.

There are many indicators that could orientate us on the new marketing performance:

  • Production of stories, experiences and other contents in the open innovation system.
  • Voting participation on stories, experiences and other ideas through the social media networks or mobile apps when opening a content creation contest.
  • Shares on the stories published on the Destination’s social media page.
  • Destination publicity out of the stories and content production in all types of media.
  • Key influencers’ opinions on the destination’s value proposition.
  • Sales of merchandising products created through the content marketing system.
  • Followers of the Destination’s social media sites.
  • Survey on visitors to know what attracted them to come to the destination.
  • Qualitative reviews and ratings applying to both experiences and stories. In the new Tourism 3.0 culture, community members risk their reputations when giving reviews, hence only brands with high integrity are likely to obtain good reviews and ratings.

To develop an “exigent” rating system, community members could only vote for one, two or three stories, and would be rewarded if their nominated stories were eventually awarded, to motivate them to read carefully and make thoughtful ratings.

Destination executives’ role is to ensure the brand integrity rather than trying to stimulate reviews by sponsoring them, which could be regarded as manipulation.

Do you miss or envision any other relevant KPI to take into account?

Collaborative business modelsInnovationInnovative cultureOpen innovationStrategy

Destination Models 3.0: Development strategies (II)

Open Innovation system development

Being one of the key assets to invigorate creativity and sustain the destination model competitive advantage, it is necessary to design a set of strategies to engage stakeholders in contributing up to leveraging the most of the collective intelligence. The open innovation platform is to unlock the creativity of all stakeholders, starting by its employees, followed by its closer partners, and beyond.

One of the key factors to make the open innovation work is to constantly connect with external networks, which are more likely to bring in new ideas than creativity alone. Based on the same principle, encouraging the network members to travel, research and learn about other destinations should nurture the innovation ecosystem with inspiring ideas.

Most productive innovation networks are characterized by a decentralized structure with many leaders who have collaborative mindsets. Such decentralization not only unlocks initiative and creativity, but also fosters further interaction and collaboration among the network members.

When developing the open innovation system there are four critical steps to follow from the design phase, to the execution and management of the network:

Connecting and organizing people:

  • Find open minded people who are motivated for innovation
  • Combine people with different approaches to innovation (idea generators, experts, producers)
  • Make sure there are members with different profile in terms of skills, seniority, and field of expertise
  • Include subgroups devoted to specific tasks and goals

Setting goals and engaging members:

  • Define the role of the innovation network and groups in relation to the organization’s mission
  • Establish innovation goals and metrics to track progress
  • Plan how to establish trust among network members and engage them quickly

Supporting and facilitating:

  • Determine technology support required for network members
  • Define additional support if necessary
  • Define key information inputs

Managing and tracking:

  • Define incentive system to reward contributions
  • Determine accountabilities and timing to track and assess performance
  • Decide who takes new responsibilities and who leaves responsibilities

When composing innovation teams for specific purposes such as business model innovation, some rules should be applied. For instance, there should be a balance between four kinds of contributors:

  • Idea generators, who come up with out-of-the-box approaches and questions to start with
  • Researchers, who bring along an analytical perspective based upon market insights
  • Experts, who bring deep knowledge in their field of expertise
  • Producers, who coordinate the activities of the network and connect with people from outside

Furthermore, mixing people from different backgrounds -in terms of education, culture, and industry expertise- is likely to bring along different approaches when trying to solve complicated challenges.

To start operating the open innovation platform, there are many steps to be followed:

  • Guarantee internet access to all internal stakeholders (partners and employees)
  • Train them on how to use the tools
  • Set up content creation contests for experiences, stories and marketing materials; setting clear rules to make sure they are aligned with the values and the mission. Everybody should be empowered to start their own story or to collaborate with others’.
  • Storytelling facilitation: stakeholders would attend training workshops on how to write stories
  • Training on business model innovation methods and frameworks to establish a common language
  • Presenting a story and other marketing contents as successful cases to inspire participation

Would you consider any other step in the development of the open innovation system?

Co-creationCollaborative cultureInnovative cultureMarketing 3.0Open innovation

Destination Marketing 3.0: Co-creation workshops

Beyond the content creation contests to be carried out in the virtual collaborative platform, co-creation should be also facilitated and explained through educational workshops, especially for the enthusiast stakeholders. In co-creation workshops, attendants would learn how to cooperate in creating marketing designs for merchandising products, and tourism products based on life-changing experiences.

The marketing design co-creation workshops would be carried out by expert designers who would provide training on the design techniques to facilitate the development of artistic skills among the interested stakeholders. They would also be trained in team working to facilitate cooperation.

The product co-creation workshops would be organized by the Product Managers, who would explain the development process and key success factors for creating life-changing tourist experiences according to the mission of the destination, as explained in the Product development strategy section. This would be mandatory for local service suppliers, who should be mixed with other stakeholders to balance the co-creation process with a similar amount of inside developers and outside developers.

Co-creation workshops should be organized by DMO as a way of promoting product development throughout the destination, with the participation of local DMC. However, this idea could also be developed by DMCs themselves, even individually as long as they can gather enough contributors.

Do you envision other possible contributors or other possible outputs out of the co-creation workshops?