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It's hard to predict a lasting and sustaining innovation. How do we determine what will become a platform and what we will build our lives around?

Companies are all facing this issue right now. How can brands build a social customer strategy with the continual creation of new technology and new social platforms?

At today's Lithium Network Conference, Lithium CEO Rob Tarkoff kicked off his keynote discussing innovation and how we have not always realized the moments that will change how we behave as consumers, communities and businesses. So, he stressed, we need to take time to step back and be objective. 

It's important to take a look at the choices we have, think about the problems we are facing and take this knowledge to direct the outcome that will help us succeed as a business.

Often with social, we look to social media pundits for the answer but Tarkoff doesn't believe that's who we should be looking to.  It's not because they don't know what they are talking about but the social platforms that are being introduced are just too new and it's hard to predict what will happen in six months, let alone five years. 

Unfortunately, most business behave around social media and innovation like 6 year olds do when playing soccer. No matter what you tell the kids to do, the kids go to the ball and as a unit, chase it around the field. It's great fun but doesn't lead to a successful game. Going around and following the shiny penny of new social platforms or the new innovation everyone is chasing, is not good for your business.

You will have people constantly looking at the next new thing. They could be in support, marketing and all around the organization. But you need to step back and look at the impact of social media business and how it can drive your business objectives.

Those in your organization who have the future vision of how community and social can be leveraged in your business are your flag planters. They are passionate about making change and seeing social as a way to transform, but that's not enough.

Some people in your business, and often those at a senior level, aren't going to scale the mountain. They need a road. So how will you build the road to strategically transform your business and get the rest of your company there to be there with you?

Heather Taylor

Published 3 May, 2012 by Heather Taylor

Heather Taylor is the Editorial Director for Econsultancy US. You can follow her on Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest.

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