Having now been in front of some large Lotus community audiences in Australia over the last few days, I'm starting to understand how impactful the Lotus Knows IdeaJam was.  People are talking.  Customers and partners have expressed interesting, excitement, and hope over the input that went into the Jam during 72 hours last week.  Yes, there are a few complaints of it being shut down too soon or late ideas not being fully vetted, but this is the nature of any short-term collaboration.  Considering that over 20,000 votes were cast on nearly 1000 ideas, I think there was more than adequate participation to get a real sense of market priorities.

Of the top 20 ideas (by popularity), several are already in progress from IBM's side.  But they can be accelerated, amplified, or adjusted based on Jam input.  Others are just good votes for "Lotus Knows...." taglines.   I loved some of these, and admire the creativity that went into the Jam.

The big question now is "what's next".  The hardest part here is that IBM can't pre-commit or announce business decisions or direction.  It takes time to get new ideas through the system, and even for in-process ones to come out the chute.  We're now discussing how or what kind of report card can be produced...it would be great to have a "X% of the IdeaJam top vote getters have been implemented" statement in the Lotusphere 2010 keynote, for example.

Now comes the next phase -- where the marketing of "Lotus Knows" to end users actually begins.  I was pleased to learn from my marketing colleague here in Australia that the local team is on-board to start doing some "Lotus Knows" advertising, before the end of 2009 in fact.  I suspect the same conversation is happening in many other countries simultaneously.  Because vote-getter #2 was to raise IBM internal awareness of what "Lotus Knows", and I can see that many IBMers took it upon themselves to start that process immediately.

Lotus Knows the next IBMer who sends me a PPT presentation is going to get an earful about Symphony, because Lotus Knows we need to be demonstrating that value to clients.  It's just one subtle way I'm adjusting my behavior following the IdeaJam.

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