Innovation is not just about developing new Intellectual Property; it is about better ways to do the ordinary.
It is about improved process and/or product.
Innovation should solve a problem – i.e. I had to repair ski boots because a binding was broken, I used a coat hanger, paperclips and a pair of pliers to fix it
The innovation process starts with a question. Why do we do this? What is the problem? There has got to be a better/easier/more efficient way than this?
A good question could be “if I was the customer what would make my experience better/easier?”
“How do I improve this process to provide better service to my customers?” Jack Welch
” how do you give people better value everyday?” Jack Welch
Innovation should be a culture not the sole domain of the business owner, all staff can be innovators. It is a trait that should be encouraged to be part of every position within the organisation.
Leadership/ownership/innovation is all interrelated
- Reward innovation
- Be open to change
- Encourage thinking about the task not just doing the task
- Fear of change will inhibit innovation
- Ego will inhibit innovation
- Ingratitude will inhibit innovation
- A lack of acknowledgment will inhibit innovation
- “we’ve always done it this way” attitude will inhibit innovation
You need to encourage an atmosphere of creativity, ownership, open thinking.
There is a need to have an understanding of what can and can’t change, while not being afraid to challenge the norm or traditions.
Truly successful innovation reaches it maximum when it is entrenched in routine everyday infrastructure. (telephone)
At some stage in history the totally routine and mundane or mediocre was ground breaking innovation.
Innovation is a natural part of human existence we all do it in some way, or at least we should.
Innovation in the workplace happens when a person in the daily routine says to themselves “there is a better way to do this” then goes on to design that better way. It could be In a simple design change to a document or form, it could be a redesigned work station. If it means an improvement, or more productivity then great.
There is of course the balance of whether the process should be changed. It is this balance of innovation that needs to be managed well.
There may be very good reason for the status quo, there may well be legal requirements that need to be adhered to.
But even with these compliance issues the process for the innovative mind should be encouraged.
More on Innovation here – Innovation Success – Celebrate the Ordinary – Innovation to the Mundane
“if you hang out with weird people you will become weird; if you hang out with dull people you will become dull” Tom Peters.