Do you know how to take an idea your employee has, and turn it into an innovation that works? According to experts, the only way to do is to make sure your staff are now longer just thinkers, but that they become doers. This means you have to give them the opportunity to actually do things, and that you have to trust that their ideas will be beneficial to your organization. You can achieve that by having innovation management software in place, but you also have to change the culture within your organization itself.
How to Get People to Be Creative
- You need to build up a relationship of trust with your employees. They must know that, if they have an idea, it will be valued and listened to. One main complaint in top down organizations, is that employees feel that they cannot share their ideas with anyone. By implementing idea management software, you immediately break through this.
- Have regular brainstorming sessions. If there is a new issue that you are trying to gather ideas for, have a brainstorming meeting before releasing the idea on your software platform. Take a leaf out of the IBM book, who use Collaboration Jams to make sure everybody can be included.
- Know what has to be improved upon. While you can enable your employees to come up with ideas about absolutely everything, this would leave you with no focus at all. It is better to identify an issue, and find out what people think. This also gives more focus to the entire process.
- Make sure your staff is able to not just think about ideas, but to act on their possible solutions as well. Different organizations engage their employees in different ways, and you need to find out what works for you. Google, for instance, has the 20% factor, which means people can use 20% of their time to do things that interest them personally.
- Make the whole process of innovation fun. You might want to reward people for any ideas that they have, for instance, but you should avoid making this financial. Instead, you could invite them to the executive Christmas dinner, or even do something as simple as allowing them to present the idea (if they want to do this – don’t force your employees to give presentations).
How to Implement Innovation
Now that you know how things work, you are ready to get your employees on board, and ask them to submit idea to your innovation management platform. Make sure you also have a clear team in place that looks at the different ideas that have been submitted and decides what to put forward for implementation and why. This process should be completely transparent, so that people know exactly what happens with an idea they have offered.
Innovation is key if you want your organization to go forward, and the best innovation comes from ideas submitted by individuals. Make sure you don’t miss that opportunity.