Friday April 24 is a massive day. Not only does the Apple Watch start appearing on people’s wrists but it is the last day you can register your organisation for the 2015 BRW Most Innovative Companies list. If you have not yet registered your company, then check out this video to see why you would be crazy not to.
In case you weren’t aware, the entry fee provides you with a full Innovation Audit report on your organisation’s strengths and weaknesses when it comes to innovation, and provides recommendations for improvement – and you get this regardless of whether you make the list or not. And of course, if you make the list of Australia’s 50 Most Innovative Companies, there is a LOT of publicity around the list in both the Australian Financial Review and BRW, along with a big awards night in August that will have significant media coverage.
If you do decide to register, all you need to do is either fill out your details via this link or simply reply to this email with your contact details and employee size and we can get you registered quick smart.
And now…for this week’s innovation tidbit:
Is innovation an elusive concept to your employees?
A few weeks ago I was talking with a client about how common it is for employees be confused about how innovation can fit into their role. For many employees, innovation isn’t tangible – it’s a job for someone else (usually someone creative in the R&D department). This creates a huge problem, especially for organisations who are looking to make a transformational change.
So how can we make innovation tangible to each and every employee regardless of where they sit in the organisation?
As an innovation consultancy, we help organisations make innovation tangible to every one of their employees in a number of ways. We can help them build a robust innovation process. We can build employees innovation capability. We can help incorporate innovation into employees job descriptions and KPI’s. However, the very first thing that we often do is much simpler (but just as vital). We must first define innovation.
Defining innovation may seem quite trivial, however when we ask a client how their organisation defines innovation, we often hear that it’s buried somewhere in the depths of the website or they rally off a long paragraph. Either way, the definition is not clear. At Inventium, we define innovation as: “Change that adds value”. Incidentally, we use the exact same definition of innovation when judging the BRW Most Innovative Companies list.
These are four simple words that everyone can remember. Employees will no longer have to scour the website or remember a 500-word paragraph. But besides being simple, this definition also helps make innovation tangible by showing that it is broader than just a product (and the sole responsibility of the R&D team). Many of us fall victim to thinking that innovation is just about the next shiny new widget. But innovation is so much more than that. We can innovate with services, business models, processes and more. In fact, some of the most impactful innovations have been around processes – look at Toyota’s manufacturing processes for example.
This definition also shows employees that anyone can be innovative regardless of the department or seniority as everyone can think of some kind of change, big or small, in their role that will help the organisation. And lastly, this definition has a clear link back to organisational strategy. By making sure that each change adds value to the organisation, we can make sure that we’re not just changing for change sake.
So if you are finding that you are struggling with how to innovate within your role:
- Assess whether others in your team also feel that innovation is not tangible in their role.
- Think about how your organisation defines innovation.
- If the current definition is not clear, refine your definition so that it shows how innovation is broader than just products, that everyone can innovate and that it’s linked back to organisational strategy.
- And last (but definitely not least) communicate your new and improved definition to each and every person within the organisation!