In today’s highly competitive and fast moving economy, organizations must be in a continuous state of innovation to develop new and useful products, services, processes, and ways of organizing.
It doesn’t matter if your organization is a multinational enterprise or a small business, innovation is the key to success, in both what you create and how you market your products and ideas. Gone are the days when a successful company could rest on its laurels, and grow big and fat just doing business as usual.
If you want to support innovation processes in your company, and build an organization that continuously innovates, you must unlearn some of your conventional notions of leadership.
While leadership is vital in providing vision, momentum, and overall direction in the enterprise, innovation should not be an afterthought. It is the responsibility of the company leaders to build and maintain a corporate culture that fosters innovation. Make sure that every member of the leadership team has a good understanding of how they can contribute to the the enterprise innovation process and encourage bringing innovations to fruition on a regular basis.
Involve the Entire Organization
Unlike your company vision, which is carefully crafted by the leadership, innovation can originate from anywhere in the organization.
To have your company consistently innovate you need to instill innovation as a mindset throughout the organization. Innovation should not be thought of as exclusive to a particular department or division, focusing on innovation or research, but involve everyone in your company, no matter what their role and responsibilities are.
Agility in business — the ability to shape your products according to the ever-changing marketplace, and to help drive that marketplace — comes from forward thinking, knowing when to change, what to change or add, and why. These questions should be floating in the minds of every employee at any time. If you slack off, you can be sure your competitors don’t.
Unbiased Idea Sharing
Having everyone in your organization think about how they can innovate and improve products, services, and processes is not enough if you don’t have a corporate culture where they also feel enabled and encouraged to share their ideas and suggestions. Creating a culture where a junior employee’s fresh observation is given the same consideration as a seasoned executive’s ideas can be challenging.
85% of executives say that they have had issues or concerns at work that they were afraid to raise.
When it is that challenging for executives to freely share their feedback, ideas, and opinions, imagine how difficult it is for someone less senior to suggest something new that goes against current practice.
Anonymous Brainstorming and Feedback
5 times more participant input has been reported when using MeetingSift in management level meetings.
Anonymous idea sharing encourages honest feedback and helps everyone focus on the issue instead of the person bringing it up. MeetingSift’s anonymous brainstorming activity helps your group focus on the ideas shared, instead of the persons who proposed them. Participants are free to be candid in their feedback, and mediocre ideas do not get support just because they were proposed by the boss. Parallel input via personal smart devices gives everyone an equal opportunity to contribute, while saving valuable meeting time.
Combining Different Perspectives
The source of innovation is not an individual genius, but rather the collective intelligence of people with different expertise and different points of view, engaging in collaborative problem solving.
In day-to-day enterprise collaboration, differences in opinions are often played down. In innovation however, the creative interaction between two, or more, different perspectives is what produces new solutions none of them could have generated by themselves. Anonymous idea sharing provides opportunity to candidly share uncommon perspectives without fear of social alienation.
Freedom to Experiment
While you normally don’t want employees to experiment when completing their work tasks, innovation requires just that.
Innovation is very often a result of trial and error, which means you have to provide employees the freedom to take risks in order to test and build the company’s innovation portfolio.
Inclusive Decision Making Processes
Decision making traditionally requires only one solution to be chosen from a set of competing options. However, innovation occurs when seemingly opposing ideas are combined and reconfigured into new combinations, producing new solutions. These kinds of inclusive decision making processes create innovative “both/and” solutions that often are better than any “either/or” solutions.
Studies show that decisions made collectively tend to be more effective than decisions made by a single individual.
Group Decision Making Platform
MeetingSift speeds up and enhances collaborative group decision making processes by visualizing the group’s opinions in real-time.
MeetingSift helps your group collectively suggest, evaluate, assess, prioritize, and identify top solutions. The collaborative platform combines the participants’ different perspectives and expertise, and visualizes the results in real-time, feeding back into the discussion and supporting the process of merging multiple options into one solution.
Technology that Enhances the Innovation Process
The use of digital tools in advancing innovation within a company is growing quickly, and for good reason. This is especially true for, but not limited to, the Millennial generation.
MeetingSift is one of the best platforms for advancing innovation in your enterprise. By supporting anonymous brainstorming and idea prioritization, collaborative idea evaluation and assessment, and inclusive group decision making, MeetingSift helps you overcome some of the major obstacles in enterprise innovation.