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How To Deploy Innovation And Have Everyone Participate


One of many myths about ideas that lead to innovation is that it comes from individuals or by a small group of creative human beings working together in an isolated room. But in fact, if we take a closer look in Thomas Edison, Ted Turner, Jeff Bezos, or even Steve Jobs, they are able to develop great ideas as results from interactions with many sources.

Anticipation on innovations, no matter how small, is a good basic for an invention, still, leaders has to nurture the right condition for innovation to grow. Here are 4 ways to connect as well as to grow and to make innovations possible:

1. Change The Organization Structure

For many years, organization structures has directly or indirectly isolated changes and innovations from the other departments, where these kind of conditions will not bring any effect on the company. To make changes in organization definitely need a structure which can actively help growth of cross function interactions.

If you are a leader, try to raise these questions:

  • Do we have the infrastructure for innovations to be possible, which can delivers these innovations matching roles in every level of the company and involves everybody? Or whether the organization structure keeps on positioning innovations as an exclusive responsibilities for certain function or group?
  • What steps has been taken by the company within the past year to promote functions and departments to share ideas and knowledge?
  • What can we do to facilitate direct communication, person to person in all parts of the company instead of developing the traditional system that sticks on top-bottom approaches?

2. Create Open Market For New Ideas

In many companies, new ideas are scarce commodities, strangled by company cultures that disregard opportunities and need. Companies that are serious about changes must create a climate (culture) where every person within the company can contribute ideas, whereas the ideas are considered workable, they will be supported with financing and proper resources to make it happen.

Few questions that can be asked by leaders:

  • Does the management really believe that mediocre worker can also innovate?
  • Does companies develop a “change democracy” where anybody from any level within the company can raise their ideas?
  • What have we done to communicate – verbally or by actions – that everyone in the company are encouraged to be a pioneer?
  • If someone or some groups come up with new ideas, how difficult it is for them to gain supports, morally and financially from the top management?
  • What have we done within these 12 months in using imaginations, know-hows or ideas from people outside of the company?

3. Use the Web In Developing Imaginations

Usually, information technologies utilized in companies end without any clear articulation of the benefit and functions only for simple and explicit knowledge management tools. Instead they have to learn to use this as a system for boosting innovation, which involves peoples in the company – and millions outside – in a global dialogue with innovation as it’s primary focus.

Questions to ask:

  • Have we create discussion forum, where conversations about innovation is the main topic within the last 24 months?
  • Have we use information technology infrastructures to distribute needed responsibilities to propel new ideas throughout divisions in and out of the company?
  • Does the intranet has something to do with inspiring people to develop their thinking as to show them how an innovation project can be initiated?
  • Can we use the infrastructure to create opportunities and rebuild projects that had no clear purpose?

4. Spend More Time For Interaction

Companies who want to promote innovations better create opportunities for their workers to interact with people working outside their business unit, people outside their geographic region and ideally outside their corresponding industries. Find ways to connect between different groups directly to share their point of views and create ideas together.

Another questions to ask:

  • Within the last 12 months, has everyone in my division has the opportunity to participate in company held innovation projects?
  • How often my company/division/business unit held events and forums for knowledge sharing and cooperation?

With those all 4 steps, companies can ultimately possess a field full of innovations, which in turn boost the organization to a new unprecedented level.

Image by scleroplex

December 10, 2008 Posted by | Career, Change Management, Leadership, Workplace Improvement | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment