We’ve all heard the story of the NASA janitor – when asked what he did at NASA by John F Kennedy, on a tour of the facilities in 1961, the janitor replied ‘I’m helping to put a man on the moon’. The story is often told as an example of how important it is that everyone in an organisation, no matter how lowly, understands what that organisation’s vision and mission are and how their role contributes to that vision.

We’d be willing to bet, however, that no one asked that janitor if he had any ideas for how they might achieve their ambition. His role was just to make sure the floors were clean and the bins were emptied for the scientists and engineers to walk on, smoothing their way as they did their highly technical work.

“Good ideas can come from anywhere and anyone”


But good ideas can come from anywhere and anyone, no matter what their role. Just because you’re a janitor doesn’t mean you don’t have thoughts about a revolutionary new product, and scientists or engineers could equally be harbouring creative ideas about how customer service could be improved. Margaret Heffernan’s hugely popular TED talk about super chickens teaches us that creativity and innovation are not innate to special, talented people, but something that happens between people as they collaborate – and that successful teams are made up not of super-star performers but of highly collaborative, empathic groups.

So how do you unlock the potential of the people in your organisation and get them to unite around some of the big challenges instead of the day to day details?

social-image-week-bristol-solverboardIt’s to address exactly this problem that we created Solverboard – a suite of idea management tools that helps open up creativity and innovation in organisations large and small. And right now we’re really proud that Solverboard is being used to power some of the ideas generated by Social Media Week Bristol.

Solverboard Social Media Week challenges

As part of Social Media Week, we’re going to be hosting Challenges on Solverboard specifically designed for anyone to join the discussion around specific topics raised for SMWi Bristol events. View the Challenges now at the Social Media Week section of Solverboard and register using the Sign Up button to have your say.

bristollogo_0-1People can contribute thoughts, ideas, information and comments and discuss them with other users on our open, collaborative platform, whether or not they are attending the SMWi events.

The specific Social Media Week challenges include:

  • The Opening Debate, with Bristol Media: this closed session will tackle the city’s future as a creative, digital and technology hub and look at issues such as talent and skills; promotion of Bristol as a creative hub and export opportunities beyond the region. Bristol Media will be using Solverboard to solicit contributions ahead of the session to be fed into the debate, so if you haven’t got a ticket you can still get your voice heard!
  • The Lunchtime Do Lectures– with e3 Media: We’re working with e3 to support the three Do Lectures by hosting Challenges where anyone can add comments, contributions and contributions ahead of the events, and facilitating a space to continue the discussion afterwards.
  • A career in Social Media, with ADLIB Recruitment: Alongside recruitment specialist ADLIB’s Wednesday event on social media careers, they’ll be asking for your thoughts on what a career path for Social Media professionals looks like and how it can be defined
  • The Small Business Social Media Summit,with Enterprise Nation: Small business community Enterprise Nation will be using Solverboard to solicit contributions to their Social Media Summit event on how to use Social Media to grow your business.

To join the discussion, view the Challenges now at  https://solverboard.com/socialmediaweek  and use the Sign Up button to register. And if you are interested in keeping up what else the Solverboard team is up to, you can follow them on Twitter here: @Solverboard

Cecilia Thirlway