social and open innovation

  • We are seeing the first glimmers of the transparent corporation, where the customer finally has a seat at the table when decisions are being made. The internet makes this possible. Starbucks, Dell and Salesforce.com have opened public forums for customer ideas, all using software from Salesforce. Customers submit their ideas, then fellow-customers vote on them – some gain a following, others die on the vine – and the companies implement the best of them. Salesforce chief executive officer Marc Benioff says: “The dead-end suggestion box and the auto-reply are symbols of corporate indifference and are no longer tolerated.” This process happens in the open, for all to see. Blogger Doc Searls, a Harvard fellow, has coined a term for this turnaround: vendor relationship management (versus the old customer relationship management).
  • Kent County Council (KCC) is well known for placing the citizens of Kent at the heart of all it does. From the Gateways to Telehealth, from Kent TV to the Kent Card, there are many examples of the ways in which the council has worked hard to build its services around people.
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