Creating more grounded transformative work is done by formulating a collective research process that builds shared capacity. If done well, an emerging social system moves itself (self adaptive) into momentous collaborative action.
CREATING SOCIAL INNOVATION – RESEARCH STAGES
Asking powerful questions within dynamic interactive feedback loops is key to establishing a foundation for the collective to stand on. Some general advice about how to do social research is as follows:
- Inquiry: Starting everyone of my questions with ‘open ended’ question words including the 6 ‘W’s: WHY is it this way, WHAT is it exactly, (w)HOW does it work, WHO is involved, WHEN is it enacted, WHERE does it reside or show up. In this way, your research will expand from isolated assumptions into broader understandings and improve data outcomes.
- Clustering: The next step is reducing the content you have found by clustering or mapping common synergistic principles or concepts into groupings.This can often be found by creating keyword maps and phrase streams that appear and link across your data.
- Synthesizing: The last stage is integrating your results into something meaningful and valued. This happens by testing some of your new gathered insights “with others”. In other words ‘meaningfulness’ is key to a social movement and thereby social action, and this can only occur through interaction and feedback.
These are my 3 stages for developing new insight and interpretation for social innovation. They are based in the understanding of collaborative learning and design.
Next you will need to put your research to the test; not just proving whether it is true or not, but also (and even more important), using your synthesized research to enable social action – a community of practice.
COLLABORATIVE LEARNING – TURNING INFORMATION INTO SOCIAL ACTION
A more challenging but (in my view) more fun part of development, is enabling your research into a ‘social performance’ process for creating social capital and social innovation. This is done through 3 phases as follows (note ‘phases’ are different than ‘stages’):
- Enabling a Group Intention
- Building a Value Network
- Experiencing a Community of Practice
Here is the related article that describes these phases, called Social Innovation: a 3-Phase Transformation Process.
ADDITIONAL SUPPORTING ARTICLES:
- Bringing in sustainability into the social innovation equation
- Considerations for a broader thinking model in social architecture
- How to cross pollinate influential knowledge pods into shared teams of effluence
- Myth in the new leadership; moving past the beliefs and fears that bind us
- Differentiating generative dialog from discussions and debates
- Victor, victim, villain – A model for increasing humane awareness in social design
- Other articles from my blog
- Social Innovation Colab Wiki