Last month, leaders in public sector innovation gathered to discuss ways of crowdsourcing new solutions to longstanding problems at IdeaScale’s Open Nation DC. Speakers from a range of agencies as diverse as the FDA and the US Coast Guard presented best practices on creating actionable change in government.
In the past 12 months, there has been a concerted push to foster a more experimental and autonomous workforce within mature, corporate organizations. This is impacting how innovation professionals operate, drive value, and ultimately succeed in their own careers.
Results-based work environments, also known as results-only work environments (ROWE) aim to increase productivity by giving employees the freedom to work in the manner that suits them best as long as they produce results. The old paradigm of coming in to work at a set time and leaving at a set time hasn't been the standard for quite some time. Employees regularly have to work long hours, and there is research that shows these long hours may be better spent working from home. The Sloan Center on Aging and Work at Boston College notes that this shift represents a dramatic change from the traditional 40-hour work week.
Everyone understands the value and promise of open innovation in the business world – from brand awareness and customer engagement through to the search for fresh answers. But, truth be told, most programmes are failing to deliver results because their dynamics are too complex and the processes used are proving inefficient. A lack of relevance is also strongly affecting returns.
Apple, Google and General Electric success stories centre on groundbreaking characters and geniuses. But 99% of companies worldwide are unlike any of these. Most organisations are made up of people like you and me: reasonably proficient in innovation management but surrounded by innovation agnostics. People who can share with us the tough, yet stirring mission of pushing boundaries to shape a bit of future.
We are moved by goals. The resolve to reach the finish line pushes us forward: at work, in life. Why then do we keep idea management initiatives alive when it’s not clear what results they deliver (if any)? And how often have we yearned for a formula that definitely makes it all happen?
In the autumn of 1906, 85-year-old Sir Francis Galton made a fascinating discovery on the judgment power of crowds: The accuracy of groups is far greater than of individuals. It’s a well-known story yet worth recapping. Surprisingly, the central character is a fat ox.
Innovation is the mantra in leadership these days. Isolated innovation efforts abound. Still, most likely, your innovation program will fail, as many do. Not because you’re incapable of good innovation or because you’re lacking a mandate, but because you’ve probably overlooked some fundamental pre-requisites. Don’t worry, we have good news.
Benefits abound when organizations fully engage their employees. Deeply involved employees are more efficient—working longer hours and going beyond what is asked— and, organization-wide, engaged personnel directly impact financial results. A Towers Perrin study found a 6% higher profit margin in companies with engaged staff, while Gallup reported higher employee engagement scores positively correlate with increased earnings per share.
Heidi Hattendorf, director of Innovation Development, Motorola Solutions takes a deep dive into how you can create an innovation framework at your company that will positively impact your business results and culture. The article describes seven steps that will help you implement an “inside out” approach to innovation at your company.
You can hardly scan the Internet or pick up a business magazine without seeing references to innovation. Companies everywhere are emerging from decades of cost reductions and are now focusing on efficiency, while looking for the next breakthrough idea… the next Post-It Note, the Frappucino or even the new Internet.