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Enterprise Initiatives that Advance Idea Innovations

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July 12
3:32 PM 2018

Innovation is the key driver in business today. Without powerfully innovative initiatives rolling out, a company is doomed to succumb to the hyper-fast, ever-evolving world.

Think ignoring innovation doesn't cause epic failures? Ask the managerial teams and executives at formerly behemoth-sized brands like the now-defunct Borders Books, Kodak, and Blockbuster.

All these organizations had the opportunity to change with the times, yet resisted changes fiercely; as a result, they went the way of the dinosaur. In fact, Blockbuster once had an opening to purchase Netflix for a mere $50 million, which would have secured the movie-rental monster's throne as king of the industry But Blockbuster passed, and so did its time at the top. Today, Netflix is worth more than Disney, clocking in at a staggering $152.7 billion market capitalization.

This is what failure to innovate looks like.

Don't let your organization suffer the same fate. Learn from the mistakes of these brands by arming yourself with knowledge about effective management initiatives and processes that can be implemented across the entirety of your company.

Ditch the Innovation Hierarchy

Most enterprise-level organizations tend to operate in a hierarchical structure. While this is okay - and even necessary to an extent - it is not conducive when it comes to fostering innovation.

Most enterprises leave most all innovation-related tasks (particularly the ideation process) in the hands of a select few. Doing so is detrimental to the brand's growth.

The idea that brands are now becoming privy to in the information age is that ideas come from everywhere, not just managers and executives.

By crowdsourcing ideas from a range of pools, visionary concepts can emerge. Through tapping the creative potential of higher-ups, mid-level employees, customer service representatives, consumers (especially consumers), prospects, partners, and everyone in-between, companies can harvest a wealth of potentially groundbreaking ideas that would have never surfaced otherwise.

By utilizing comprehensive innovation management software tools, enterprises generate a wealth of innovative ideas that can be collected, identified, refined, and fostered to manifestation. These sorts of platforms enable businesses to listen to internal and external feedback and idea development.

This is exactly why automobile manufacturer Toyota has continually been one of the most efficient and innovative brands in the field. As reported by Harvard Business Review:

"What's different is that [Toyota] views employees not just as pairs of hands but as knowledge workers who accumulate chie-the wisdom of experience-on the company's front lines. Toyota therefore invests heavily in people and organizational capabilities, and it garners ideas from everyone and everywhere: the shop floor, the office, the field."

Never forget that people are your business; you are surrounded by talented, proficient, and skilled individuals. Use them to their fullest.

However, if you seek to ensure that innovative new ideas are continually submitted to your brand's database, you're going to need to provide some incentive. . .

Innovation Gamification

To promote a culture of innovation, employees and customers must be deeply engaged. To foster people's creative spirit and drive the proposal of new ideas, few tactics are more engaging than games.

Gamification is a powerful methodology for creating more active communication and participation in company programs. Proving this point, in 2009 the telecommunications company Telus had an employee engagement score of 54%. That same year, the brand implemented a gamification system that steadily accelerated engagement levels to a smashing 87% by 2015. Additionally, the organization saw its number of employee sick days drop, while profits and customer satisfaction rose.

Gamified company collaboration explicitly promotes higher levels of employee engagement and happiness (as the two are intrinsically linked) and excites people in contributing to the process.

Companies can implement gamification in a variety of different ways. This can be achieved through providing points or badges for various actions like sharing or refining an idea. Brands can even dole out monetary rewards or paid-time-off for higher-level achievements like idea adoption and implementation. The possibilities here are endless.

By rewarding individuals based on their contributions, you can monitor, measure, increase, and honor participation.

Develop Powerful Workflow Processes

Effective and efficient workflows are necessary for any company to achieve growth. When speaking to innovation, workflows should provide the framework necessary for enabling idea generation in the least amount of time possible as well as feature a clear-cut strategy for refining the idea, adopting it, and implementing it.

Since this is such a critical component for business adaptation and survival, it's wise to employ a technology that fosters the process fully. You might opt to find an innovation management software that possess such functionality, or you might elect to employ a dedicated, automated workflow management software like Zapier or Kissflow.

No matter which route you choose, the system should feature a distinct process for every stage of idea generation. Employees should be able to submit, review, and discuss ideas to foster the crowdsourcing mentality. Voting features should be presented for all who have access to the system, however, shortlisted ideas can only be accepted/rejected by those with special permissions.

Utilizing such a workflow will facilitate:

  •  Easy evaluation of the idea implementation process
  •  Simple ways to review and vote on ideas
  •  Time savings
  •  Crowdsourcing

Whatever type of workflow technology you choose to deploy, be sure that it features a streamlined dashboard for idea votes and submissions, it supports numerous campaigns simultaneously, and enables workflow flexibility.

Innovation is not only the backbone of business today, it has been at the heart of the American ethos since the country's inception. Those who fail to innovate die in obscurity. Don't let your company succumb to the sands of time. Implement these core pillars of the innovation process and you are far more likely to uncover new ideas that breed prosperity and growth.

© 2018 VCPOST, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
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