Ok, what we are talking about is not as weird as pills that shrink belly fat without diet and exercise or earning $80k working from home part time, but it is an unusual way of thinking about improving company performance. An innovation solution is a software platform that sets up a structure for gathering and acting upon your employees best ideas. It turns the way most leaders think about improving business performance on its head. Ideas percolate from the ground up, instead of sinking from the top down. So, yes, it is a little weird, but so are most ideas when they are new.
How Does an Innovation Solution Work?
Innovation management software solutions are (usually cloud-based) structures for finding opportunities for improvement within an organization. They give every employee the opportunity to identify problems, risks or lost potential. Opportunities for improvement can revolve around revenue, product quality, customer service, safety, efficiency or any other business issue. Once opportunities are identified, an innovation solution provides workflow to get them reviewed and assigned. It tracks the progress of agreed upon projects all the way through to ROI.
Companies enjoy several advantages when an innovation solution is implemented and made part of the company culture. Advantages include:
- Increased employee engagement – Employees feel invested when they are empowered to enact change and recognized for their contributions.
- New thinking about old problems – Leaders can grapple with issues without finding a clear solution, while the people closest to the problem may be able to suggest a novel approach that works
- Cross-team collaboration – Innovation requires cooperation so innovation solutions are designed to bring people from different work areas together to see projects through from beginning to end
- Financial justification – No one wants to innovate for innovation’s sake, so it is important that an innovation platform include analysis of completed projects and calculate the overall ROI
What’s Weird About It?
Innovation solutions are, well – innovative. In most companies, change happens either by edict from senior leadership, or entropy. Users of innovation solutions approach the issue of improving performance differently. They invest in the idea that innovation should be invited and managed. They make identifying opportunities to improve the organization part of the culture and recognize and reward the employees who contribute. Such an approach is an unmistakable sign to the organization that everyone is welcome, and expected, to participate in transformation.
Leaders who want to take their companies to the next level in terms of employee satisfaction, customer service, revenue, quality and efficiency should consider making innovation a daily reality by embracing a platform that makes it so. You don't actually have to stand on your head to look at organizational improvement in a new way - that would be a weird trick.