Foster innovation in your Organization
October 28, 2010 Leave a comment
Here are 5 things that medium-large companies can consider to spur innovation:
1. Make processes less rigid: Most companies have well-defined processes to meet delivery goals of their projects. But, this comes at a cost of “innovation” because employees get “used to” working in processes and therefore do not “look for” innovative ideas. If the processes are not very “rigid”, this will prompt employees to “think outside-the-box”. That will eventually lead to innovation.
2. Employee rotation: Generally careers move in a vertical direction. People get good understanding of the vertical (HR, Finance, Marketing) but have no understanding of how other verticals work. Moving employees in different verticals will put “some” employees out of their comfort zones and force them to learn new skills. During transition, they will question the basics of the department, and that will lead to looking at things from a different perspective.
3. Open culture: Innovation is about thinking out-of-the-box. Support from top management for openness will encourage employees to communicate their “wild” ideas upwards. Some of these “wild” ideas can spur innovation if they reach the right top-management.
4. Networking: Large companies are like “cities” or “towns” where people do not know about each other. Fostering networking (from different departments, locations) will lead to brainstorming which is the seed for innovation.
5. Outside-the-Industry: Look at companies out-of-your-industry to see how they solve problems. Find out if some of those initiatives can be brought into your own industry (with some modifications). For example: Outsourcing started with manufacturing…and then moved over to Software services, finance, and market research.