Communications Blog • 5 MIN READ

The Collision of Ideas

John Merakovsky

Written by John Merakovsky

This blog was originally posted on the new IR Community.

Innovation comes from the collision of ideas, and often the collision of cultures and different viewpoints; this is true throughout all of human history. New ideas meeting with old ideas and coming up with innovation: that is the recipe for innovation. Maximizing our opportunity to intersect or collide with different ideas is what IR's new online community is all about. It's about when an idea comes to a you or when a particular issue arises the community gives you the opportunity to interact with a myriad of people who have many different ideas and responses to it. It allows an aggregation or a dialogue from numerous different points of view. A better outcome can be crowdsourced, rather than one person's response. It's a fantastic platform to bring all conversations together. Of course, it requires momentum and a life of its own but we have the best customers in the world and your innovative approaches to how you use Prognosis is amazing – I have no doubt the IR community will be ignited with your expertise.

 

Collaborating in the long-term

The IR Community is an important tool for keeping many conversations open simultaneously, not only for our customers and our customer facing teams but also for our internal teams; whether it be product management or R&D. We coevolve our product sets with our customers, we learn from you, we learn from your needs, we learn from your strategic thinking. And likewise you can learn from us. I see the community as one of the key means of collaborating in the long-term with our customers, to ensure that we serve you even better.  

It's very easy for companies to talk about customer centricity as a key value that they hold, the execution of that is something altogether different. For me, the key is that value has to be embodied in the culture of the company. When I look at IR, I see the vast majority of our business is focused on addressing our customer needs, solving issues and creating value for our customers. That's incredibly important and requires a focus on both the short-term and long-term need. You have to keep one eye on now and one eye on the future. It's about having an honest and ongoing, authentic dialogue with you, our customer.  

The community is providing a mechanism for you to engage with us and your peers in the appropriate channel. It's true there are things that are more suited to be done at Summit in person rather than online and vice versa with the community. One of the best things I saw at Summit last year was a Prognosis super user actually gesticulating madly over a keyboard on screen to a prospective customer showing how they use Prognosis in their own environment.  While we'd facilitated the engagement we weren't directly involved and we would love to see that happening in the community. There is a power in the collision of ideas, the use of technology applied to novel circumstances is what helps drives innovation, and customers are a key part of that.  

Recognition through gamification 

We've been running Prognosis Awards at Summit for some time now, and the community will give you the ability to be recognized and develop credibility over an extended period of time in a different way through badges and gamification. Leadership in the community is all about showing people how it's done. Everyone wants to be recognized for their accomplishments and the value they add to the community, contribution has its own reward but recognition is an important part; it goes to the very core of human nature.  

A spirit of openness 

The community will serve you in different ways that we currently don't provide for today. The community of Prognosis users and Prognosis developers will be broadened. The answers to questions that are novel, that haven't been asked before, will be answered faster and have a higher quality answer. What we mean by that is there will be instances where we don't have an answer to a question but another customer who has experienced that will be able to provide an answer. That's the novelty that the community creates. It's not about us reducing the amount of support that we provide, its about that experience that we as the developer of the product don't necessarily have. We encourage a community of openness; the good and the bad. There are going to be issues that we want surfaced and discussed in the spirit of authenticity and openness so we can address them and there's no better way to get feedback than through a vibrant online community – that's what we want to achieve.  

Topics: Communications

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