Shaping the Future of Innovation

In today's world where we are constantly striving to do more with less, innovation is the one of the keys for continuous improvement. In his blog on innovation and business strategy, Paul Hobcraft highlighted the challenges an organization must overcome in order to foster innovation. His blog post can be found here.

Look for innovation everywhere

Hobcraft points out that one of the barriers to overcome is the notion that innovation is limited to only a small sector of an organization. Imagine all the good ideas that will be lost if we only solicit ideas from less than 20% of the organization. In my opinion, today's successful organizations often find ways to channel creativity and improvement from all employees. Lean concept and methodology is one of the ways to foster the idea of continuous improvement to everyone in the organizations. For more background on Lean, please visit this blog entry:

Sell ideas to decision-makers

So now we have good ideas, the next step is to sell the ideas to the decision makers. Recall from the series "Talking to your Bo$$," when presenting your new idea to decision-makers, be sure to succinctly highlight the benefits of your proposal (i.e., how much cost savings achieved, how much revenue can be generated, how much risks can be reduced) as compared to the alternatives considered. Equally as important as highlighting the benefits is identifying and anticipating obstacles to implementing your ideas and the possible mitigations.

Hobcraft concludes, "Innovation can be remarkable if we want to embrace it fully." Please do check out his entire blog post if you've not read it. In your opinion, what more can we do to foster innovation in our workplace as well as everyday life? What are your thoughts on some of Hobcraft's observations?

What are some of your experiences with proposing change/innovation in your organization?


May's picture

Very well said. With the rise of "lean" culture, innovation at every level is increasingly important. It will be interesting to see how traditionally conservative companies will do to adapt to today's world where innovation is the key to stay competitive.