Request for innovation ideas for the NHS

Just received this email from the NHS’s Innovation Health and Wealth Team, calling for innovation ideas for the “second wave of high impact innovations to be carried forward into 2013/14”. Deadline is 20 November, btw.

Dear colleague,

Invitation for High Impact Innovations in support of Innovation Health and Wealth

The High Impact Innovation website – has been developed to support the spread and diffusion of significant innovation more widely across the NHS. Having started initially with six high impact innovations, we are now seeking a second wave of high impact innovations to be carried forward into 2013/14.

The website is a source of information and intelligence for change agents and commissioners in the NHS, to support them in implementing the High Impact Innovations Programme.

We are seeking submissions of ideas and innovations from interested parties across the NHS system who would like to see their innovation taken forward into this next phase.

We’d really like to hear your ideas if they meet at least one of the established criteria:

• Value for money
• Fulfilling a recognized need
• Quality of patient care
• Efficiency
• Savings and benefits
• Improves or replaces an existing service.

To submit your idea, visit and access the online form which appears on the left hand column of the home page.

Ideas should be submitted before 20 November 2012, and once submitted, forms will be reviewed and filtered by an expert panel who will select up to 100 of the most appropriate innovations to be taken forward.

Please note that submissions of ideas will be treated confidentially and as commercially sensitive and will not be passed on.
Your input is invaluable in driving the next wave of innovation and we look forward to receiving your ideas.

Kind regards,

Innovation Health and Wealth Team

How best to join the online conversation?

Yesterday’s seminar organised by the BCS Consultancy SG and the BCS ELITE Group on ‘Customer Engagement’ was in the prestigious Victorian setting of the English-Speaking Union, a fine location. The two presenters, David Butler and Alistair Russell, introduced to the collected CIOs from businesses and organisations ranging from Shell to the NHS Care Quality Commission (& check out their new website design), the value of ‘joining the conversation’ – listening and responding to customer conversations. One facet I found useful was the discussion about how CIOs could better involvement themselves in such initiatives, working with marketing directors (CMOs) to make sure great ideas for engagement deliver on a practical as well as conceptual level.

For my part  as a freelance consultant I was fortunate to talk to a senior manager from Shell who reminded me about the value of communities of practice for global companies looking to give their people on the ground access to the wisdom of their crowd, coming up with solutions based on tried and tested approaches to  problems from other teams, rather than re-inventing the wheel. The short video I posted on the SiftGroups site back in August about the experience of Rio Tinto is  a nice introduction, providing a practical example of how this works, as well as some ideas about communities of practice.

[Update: 26 Jan] Of course I was aware that many influential social media gurus regard IT managers as significant obstacles to the uptake of these tools, as the quote from ex-BBC staffer Euan Semple nicely encapsulates in his ten definitive social media tips for 2010, which just popped into my inbox:

IT is the single biggest block to getting social media going. IT staff could be such enablers but they’ve largely been employed to replicate the hierarchical command and control structure that most organizations pretend is actually running them.

I see a big potential opportunity for the BCS in leading on ways to educate all sides in this debate on the positive role for IT managers in helping facilitate change within organisations from the NHS to Shell.