IdeaScale’s Open Nation 2019 Set to Inspire Innovation


The spotlight will be on creativity, communication, inspiration, and innovation leadership at Open Nation 2019, IdeaScale’s annual conference set for Oct. 24-25 in Washington, D.C.

Organizers have jam-packed at least a dozen seminars led by some of the most influential innovation leaders at top organizations into this two-day event. Presenters include NASA, the United States Air Force, the Cleveland Cavaliers, Freddie Mac, and the United Way.

This year, focus areas are:

  • Innovation metrics and tracking ROI
  • Gaining leadership buy-in
  • Developing innovation teams

Open Nation, National Union Building, 918 F Street NW, Washington, D.C., 8 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 24-4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25; tickets, by invitation only, $500-$800.

Is Innovation Tangible?

Innovation is notoriously hard to measure. Developing an effective innovation team takes time and money, and companies want a return on their investment. However, it’s hard to put a price tag on innovation, so how do you measure it?

Harvard Business Review says some common ways of measuring innovation — outside of revenue production — include counting the number of ideas that were put forth and projects in the works and determining the scope of progress on these projects as well as their impact on the bottom line.  

Innovation leaders will discuss other methods of measurement, including specifics for big industries such as health care.

Is your innovation strategy working?

Convincing the Grand Poobah 

Crowdsourcing in the military? Yes, it’s not only possible, but it’s also a reality. If the military can learn to accept, appreciate, and use suggestions that don’t come from the top brass, your organization can too. 

Innovators in the USAF will talk about how they got permission to shake up the military command structure.

T Stands for Team, Talking, and Together

Proper team development is crucial to innovation success. Know-it-alls, slackers, helpless types, pot-stirrers, narcissists, and malcontents can all poison an otherwise successful team. This isn’t to say these people can never add value to your project. You just have to find the right way to use their skills.

Sometimes people think putting together a team at work is as simple as grouping employees with different skills to complete a project, but it’s so much more than that. It’s a delicate, difficult task to form groups of people not only with the correct skills but with the will to work well together.

After having attended Open Nation in 2017, strategist, innovator and designer Andy Howell tweeted about a new acronym he learned: BORPSAT (Bunch Of the Right People Sitting Around a Table).

This year’s conference-goers will learn from the best when the Cleveland Cavaliers talk about how they pick new members of the team.

A Legacy of Innovation

In previous years, IdeaScale’s Open Nation conference addressed topics including crowdsourcing to develop ideas, tips for launching a startup, how to engage your community in your business, and using feedback from your organization’s employees to improve processes and procedures.

Attendees at this popular conference have praised the quality of information they were able to collect and lessons they learned. Aliyya Shelley Mattos, head of sustainability and social impact at CellMark, said of the 2017 conference: “Great innovations out of Calgary. Thanks for the great presentation!”

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