Category: Innovative culture

Fostering culture of innovation: practices, benefits and case studies

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?

 

Business model innovationCollaborative business modelsCollaborative cultureCulture changeInnovative culture

Destination Models 3.0: organizational structure

The platform’s organizational structure should rather have a horizontal profile to empower leadership development within the team, but also as a starting point to create a culture throughout the stakeholder ecosystem based upon empowerment, trust, collaboration and innovation.

Even if the organizational structure may differ among destination models 3.0, there are some roles and competences which are likely to be necessary in all of them, as we have seen with the key activities:

  • Managing director: in charge of leading the executive team, the corporate strategy direction, and platform’s public relationships. He or  she would be the leader of the business model innovation area of the open innovation system. This would correspond to a visionary with strong leadership skills and great capacity for understanding all stakeholders’ needs, motivations and concerns, in order to lead the business model innovation with the smoothest possible manner.
  • Experience development director: in charge of leading the “experience development” section of the innovation system, bringing in ideas to inspire the development of new experiences, organizing creativity challenges and events, coaching partners in their experience development efforts, and controlling that all experiences comply with the mission guidelines. This would be a professional with strong leadership skills, imagination and coaching skills.
  • Business intelligence director: in charge of collecting, analyzing and communicating the intelligence data following the key performance metrics’ parameters, as well as the market intelligence obtained through the open innovation ecosystem and external sources. This would be an analyst profile with good leadership skills to establish relationship with all kinds of stakeholders who ultimately provide the intelligence data to nurture the monitoring system.
  • Operations director: in charge of leading the operations manager team (Partner integration & HR manager, Quality manager, IT manager and Maintenance manager). This would correspond to a professional with strong leadership skills, conflict resolution skills, capable of coordinating a complex operational system in constant evolution, where it is necessary to attend and understand multiple sensitivities and concerns to properly address all operational challenges.
  • Quality manager: in charge of controlling and assessing the service quality of all partner suppliers through customer reviews and mystery tourist system, training and coaching on service quality standards, and determining the rewards and penalties applicable to all service employees and partners. This would be a professional with strong capacity for coaching and training, as well as for developing the methodology to assess the service quality performance and the incentive system.
  • Partner integration & HR manager: in charge of assessing candidate partners prior to their integration into the business model. As a recruiter, should be able to assess candidates’ competences and fit potential into the business model culture, determining also the skill development program to be followed if necessary. This would rather correspond to a human resources psychologist profile with strong skills in analyzing candidates’ competences and mindset.
  • Marketing director: in charge of the marketing strategy direction and leading the marketing team (Social media manager, Content marketing manager and Booking & Customer service manager). He or she would also lead the story creation section of the innovation system, and would be in charge of all marketing tasks not corresponding to any of the managers. This would correspond to a marketing professional with strong leadership skills, broad marketing vision and imagination.
  • Content Marketing Manager: in charge of leading the content & design creation section in the innovation system and assisting the Marketing Director with the storytelling section in inspiring and invigorating the creation of stories, designs and other contents, and selecting the best ones to be used for marketing purposes. This would correspond to a marketing professional specialized in content management, with excellent criteria for identifying good contents to be used for marketing purposes.
  • Social Media Manager: in charge of social media marketing campaigns and controlling online reputation of the destination’s brand. This would correspond to a marketing professional enthusiast about social media marketing, with imagination and strategic orientation to leverage the marketing content creation to the utmost of its potential throughout the social media networks.

Other positions such as the Financial Controller, Booking & Customer Service Manager, IT Manager or Maintenance manager are not described as their functions would be the usual in most companies.

This section should list all kinds of resources to start-up the business, as well as foresee the new resources to be acquired or attracted as long as the platform is expanded. This should also encompass the organizational chart with the job description of all executives.

Do you miss any relevant position or relevant role within the job descriptions mentioned above?

Co-creationCollaborative business modelsCollaborative cultureInnovationInnovative culture

Destination Marketing 3.0: designing life-changing experiences

When designing life-changing experiences, these are to be thought of from the view that their life-changing purpose is what makes them unique and more attractive, not just a matter of social responsibility, because the tourists really want to experience the transformation.

There are many stages to follow when designing the life-changing experiences:

  • Define constituents, the receivers who benefit from the activity (women, children/youth, elderly, minorities, BoP, tourists, etc.)
  • The life-changing effect that the experience intends to create for the tourists (raising awareness about certain issue, opening mind, etc.)
  • Try to include storytelling exercises as a part of the experience, as a strategic part to foster the generation of new stories
  • The activity through which the experience is delivered
  • The necessary resources and preparation to make it successful
  • Carry out the feasibility plan of the product
  • Get feedback from creative activists after living the experience, on how to improve it.
  • Pay attention to insights and inputs delivered through the open innovation system, in the product co-creation contests and on an ongoing basis –reviews, free contributions, etc.-.

There has to be a Product Manager responsible for controlling the adequacy of the ideas being developed, to help improve & refine them, and to invigorate the open innovation system. The Product Manager would also be in charge of selecting and managing channel partners, benchmarking and customer feedback.

Beyond the tourism programs, the Product Manager should also be responsible for developing volunteer programs in cooperation with NGOs, to reinforce the mission driven positioning of the destination and to add human power to accelerate the mission accomplishment.

The co-creation process is to be carried out in a very different way depending on whether we talk about DMC or DMO, as well as depending on their size and budget. For instance, an open innovation system is likely to be suitable only for regional or nationwide DMOs in cooperation with the destination’s DMCs. For minor DMOs or DMCs, co-creation should be developed through workshops.

What kind of life-changing experiences do you envision?

Co-creationCollaborative business modelsCollaborative cultureCulture changeInnovative culture

Destination Marketing 3.0: Product development through co-creation

Co-creation is the new approach to product development. Tourists want to personalize the experience according to their own unique needs and desires. Destinations provide a platform experience as of a generic product, which is somehow customizable by tourists, and by observing how they customize their experiences, the platform eventually develops a portfolio of experiences customized to the needs and motivations of various types of tourists, though still flexible.

Product co-creation is developed mainly through the open innovation system, where stakeholders participate motivated by the will to contribute to the mission accomplishment, and also by the will to showcase their creative skills and gain reputation among the community. Marketing 3.0 intends to leverage these motivators to foster co-creation of experiences and continuous improvement in collaboration with the local service suppliers to keep on enhancing the destination’s offered value.

The co-creation takes place in a collaborative platform as part of the open innovation system where locals may offer their experiences and they receive reviews, ratings and advice from destination product managers on how to make it better. To train stakeholders in the co-creation process, special workshops could be organized, where the key factors to successful product development are explained.

To create life-changing experiences, contributors should start by gaining a deep understanding of the mission statement as a basis for discerning what kind of experiences could be suitable. Further, by listening to stories they can understand what kind of experiences create a life-changing impact on the receivers and thus inspire new experiences by leveraging the contributors’ imagination from the open innovation system. The fact that brand enthusiasts are empowered to participate in the co-creation process spurs their commitment and their will for spreading the stories, as they are also willing to let everybody know about their contributions.

What main challenges do you foresee in the co-creation of tourism experiences?

Co-creationInnovative cultureMarketing 3.0Open innovationTourism marketing

Destination Models 3.0: Customer relationships (II)

This open innovation system is the core of the destination marketing 3.0, becoming the central hub where all communities get connected, and fulfilling the need for connection with other consumers in communities. These communities are the ones which guarantee that the business will ultimately serve the customer’s interests and concerns, and not just the business profit. It is through this community initiative and collaboration that the platform becomes a “content marketing machine” where people create, share and inspire each other to live and tell new stories.

Finally, business models need to develop their unique DNA that reflects the brand’s identity through the social networks, targeting the mind of the consumers and intending to be relevant to their needs. Then, they have to stick to their brand promise delivering experiences up to their claims, prioritizing the mission accomplishment, to keep the brand’s integrity and reach the spirit of the consumers.

Failing to comply with the stakeholders expectations will eventually lead to losing their credibility and hence their engagement. This should be complemented with a brand image whose values appeal to the consumers’ emotional needs. All together is what leads consumers and other stakeholders to experience, engage and eventually become brand ambassadors. Only originality, integrity and authenticity will be effective.

From the operational perspective, such open innovation ecosystem would be based on technological platforms –either existing or proprietary- where to held content creation contests -photo, video, stories, poems, etc.- and collaborative creation processes to further refine the content and integrate insights from various stakeholders.

In this section, the model should explain what kind of relationships it intends to establish with each customer segment, whether they are to be passive receivers or active contributors, specifying what kinds of contributions are expected -co-creation, story delivery, contest participation and voting, etc.-.

Do you think that destinations usually leverage their client’s creative and influential power?

Co-creationCollaborative cultureInnovative cultureMarketing 3.0Open innovation

Destination Models 3.0: Customer segments (I)

Beyond the targeting criteria according to the kind of tourism activities -nature, culture, sports, etc.-, the primary target destinations 3.0 intend to attract and engage is the so called “Creative society”. Creative people are the most expressive and collaborative consumers, and also those who are most active in the social media, thus connecting and influencing many other consumers and becoming a backbone in the local economies. They are trusted and admired within their community, and through their concern and awareness about the social impact of brands, they are to become our best brand ambassadors.

Because of their aim for self-actualization above other needs, and their desire to create and collaborate, they are the ones who are most likely to become engaged with our value proposition and to participate in co-creating experiences and stories for the destination. They are those searching for spiritual fulfillment on top of other motivations, and this is what unlocks the most of their creativity. Furthermore, they are trendsetters and change leaders within their communities. They are the new wave of consumers who move the society towards a more human centered world. They are Tourists 3.0.

In summary, the prototype of the “Tourist 3.0” could be described as someone who:

  • Is driven by the aim for contribution to make the world a better place, and for human spirit fulfillment.
  • Belongs to communities and social media networks, which are the main and most trusted source of information, and with whom shares knowledge and stories.
  • Likes to co-create and collaborate with other consumers in his favorite brands’ marketing activities.
  • Is concerned about the impact of tourism on the environment and the local communities.
  • Looks for authentic experiences through which he can develop new skills, learn about new realities, cultures, and ways of life, which open his mind and ultimately change or influence his life.

Have you heard of the Creative Society? Do you regard its related trends as futuristic or current?