Creating Innovation in the Work Place


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Most companies look at the past successes in order to determine the future next steps. There is a big problem with this thinking, since they are assuming nothing will change in the market. Collecting knowledge and experiences to the workforce is crucial to building innovation and reducing the uncertainty of future decisions.

Innovation is the lifeblood of any organization and at the heart of any innovation must be collaboration. But innovation is more than one person’s vision; it is a combination of the company’s knowledge, capabilities, and experiences.

Blockbuster is a great example of a company that made decisions from the past. They were the leader in renting movies but as the market changed; from users wanting to download movies to bi-passing the stores and renting from a kiosk. They lacked the innovation and vision.

Lets look at some things Blockbuster could have done to identify the market changes and reduce the uncertainty on their future decisions.

  1. Identifying interested employees to champion innovative ideas.
  2. Empower people to take “idea breaks” anywhere outside the office
  3. Employees start an anonymous list of obstacles to doing their jobs effectively. Suggestions for how to eliminate impediments are posted on an internal community discussion to allow others to comment as well to be reviewed by management.
  4. Let each department post their one big hairy problem on the internal community allowing employees to comment with suggestions and a solution.
  5. Have employees submit one idea before doing any work one day each week. As soon as they sit down to their computers in the morning, they fire off the idea which posts onto the internal community. They’re ranked by all employees and the ones that float to the top are rewarded.
  6. Embed innovation into the performance plan. “Every year you must do two things differently in your job than you did the year before.
  7. Encourage employees to post their failures/experiments on the internal community. This will allow the group to learn from one person’s experiment.
  8. Have employees finish this sentence on the internal community portal. “Wouldn’t it be cool if…”

With getting the employees to collaborate and think outside the box, Blockbuster could have more easily seen the change coming and adapted quicker.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jason Swenk
Hi, I'm Jason Swenk. I started my career jumping into the Internet boom in 1999. I had a great passion for technology and marketing, so I started a digital agency. In 2011, I was lucky enough to have my agency acquired and then just 7 months later got acquired again by a public company. What a ride! "My goal of developing this content, is to provide valuable advice that provides immediate actionable steps you can do right now that will make a difference in your business. "


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