Updated: Oct 23, 2019
Innovation is a great word, and is included in many company mission statements or values.
But it is hard to find a balance in how to promote and share innovation in the office. You can create sites for uploading ideas or hold incentive idea days, but if it's not done properly or followed through, it can actually be a de-motivator in the workplace.
A dedicated group who can help drive Innovation in the workplace is a must. Some key players forming your Innovation team include:
Champion – this is the Project Manager or person who will lead the team, grow awareness around innovation, and ensures results are actualized
Moderators – in direct communication with the office workplace, by approving submissions, responding to questions and promoting participation through comments and other channels
Cheerleaders – while the champion is responsible for promoting the program prior to its launch, cheerleaders are responsible for regular promotion to individuals
Evaluators – internal or external, evaluators review qualifying submissions and select the top contenders to move on to the next stage
Implementers – what happens when all the ideas have been collected? Taking ideas to action is the most exciting part of an open innovation program. Implementers get to bring ideas to life
Innovation is a team sport, and every position matters as much as the next. Ideas alone are just that, ideas. A strong team will help uncover the best ideas and develop them into tangible results. Here are some tips:
What type of innovation are you trying to achieve? These could be business models, policies or processes
Empower Champions to push back. Have your upper managers understand how and why you have implemented the Innovation model, and encourage them to support Champions in their local or regional innovation collection project
Redefine metrics and incentives – is there a reward system already in place in your organisation, which can be expanded to include office workers who have a great idea, no matter how large or small the impact is?
Give employees the tools they need – ensure the innovators are given the right training and tools to sell their idea. Pre-prepared templates or presentation material with sub headers can help them send the right message and gain buy in and agreement for their idea
Create a safe space – if a test for improvement is needed, ensure the right IT resource, the right financial representatives are available, to ensure solutions are agreed on and implemented quickly.
Ideas left in the pipeline are often forgotten. Act on them quickly!