Creating Innovation at Work

May 15, 2008

According the Hippocrates, every living system is either growing or dying. If that is the case, your living, breathing business (or career) is either growing and improving … or not. Too often, companies reach a certain size or level of success and innovation stops. One of the key secrets of companies that consistently grow and improve is the willingness to try new things, to nurture innovation in their product, service, or process.

Getting adventurous with your business can be external or internal. Externally it may mean a new product line, a new sales approach, or a new marketing campaign. Or, it can be as simple as a new paint job for your company vehicles. Think of cutting edge companies … they are typically companies that looked a their industry and said “we are going to do it differently.” These are businesses that looked for new, adventurous ways to approach an old problem.

Internally, companies can be innovative and adventurous with their staff, their workspaces, their hours, their social options. I worked at a company with a foosball table and the Friday afternoon tournaments made it more interesting than most offices. Beer fridays (just 1) made the end of the week enjoyable. Being able to decorate your cubicle is easy and impacting (as a rule people don’t like plain cubicles, or cubicles in general).

Looking for more concrete steps to get adventurous in yourbusiness? Watch for the release of my newest program, “Creating Adventure to Create Results.” I will be hosting a free teleseminar to help you nurture change and innovation. Coming this June!

In the meantime, here is my tip this month: Each month look for at least 1 innovation to bring to your business (or your job) both externally and internally. Start a list of items from the team on innovations and adventurous changes they want to see. What is going to make people laugh more, buy more, cheer more and brag about the place they work?!

A great way to improve the morale of a team is to take their innovations or new ideas and select a 1-2 month term to implement them. This shows that you listen and support them, it gives them what they want, it creates accountability by involving them in decision-making, and it usually helps the productivity and bottom line of the business.

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