Innovation is critically important to success in today’s business world, and leaders across industries are recognizing this. Some companies built their success on innovation — it is the foundation of their mission. Boston Consulting Group (BCG) does an annual report on the most innovative companies and has compiled several great research papers based on surveys to innovation leaders. One of those papers included the most common barriers to successful innovation. Risk aversion, long development cycles, difficulty selecting the best ideas and difficulty measuring performance topped the list. However, there are things you can do to address these challenges.
We’re in a unique position as a company. From our beginnings at the incubation center at the Ryerson DMZ, we’ve been very involved in the startup community. The software we build helps some the largest global brands dissolve hierarchy and tap into the insights of their employees. So, when it comes to innovation process and culture, we’re close to how it works at companies large and small.
For sure, managing innovation at a big company is different. While this may be a bit of an over-simplification, we often see three approaches that are successful when they are well executed.
We had the chance to interview Ted Graham about his experience leading innovation at PwC Canada. Although he is no longer at PwC (he now leads open innovation at General Motors), we believe the insights he shared while at PwC still ring true for large organizations looking to become more innovative. Read more
Well facilitated brainstorming sessions produce up to 30 times as many unique ideas as an unfacilitated brainstorming session.
This guide gives you the research and best practices to facilitate a great session. You can also use our accompanying Brainstorming Workbook, which will walk you through a basic plan for conducting an effective brainstorming session lasting two hours to a full day for up to 25 people. Read more
Brainstorming is one of the most common tools for creative problem-solving. There’s a ton of content out there about it, but much of it isn’t based on research. We dug into some academic studies around brainstorming to get to the heart of what works and what doesn’t and how to do it properly.
That being said, it doesn’t mean there aren’t any helpful, well-researched articles out there. Here are the pieces that we consider the cream of the crop and some of which helped inform our own ebook. Read more
There are three key trends that are driving a needed change in the way that leaders and employees work together. It’s having an impact on organizational structure, roles and responsibilities and the technology used in the workplace. While the changes will be difficult and confusing for many at first, there are some exciting examples of organizations that are blazing the trail. Two keys to success will be a strong focus on culture and enabling technology. With human resources at the pivot point of so much of these shifts, they will play a key leadership role in enabling this change within organizations. Read more
As a small company or startup, ideas flow naturally. If you have a good idea, it’s easy to talk to the right people. But as organizations become larger and more complex, this becomes much harder. Size, geographical, departmental or functional silos make knowing who the best person is to evaluate or implement an idea difficult. Idea management software can scale a company’s ability to keep a steady flow of good ideas from all employees.
This post is based on an interview that we did with Steve Wood, the Co-founder & CTO at Nudge in 2016. Prior to starting Nudge, Steve was the co-founder and CTO of Eloqua for 13 years. He helped grow the startup from zero dollars to $100M, including three venture financing rounds, a successful IPO on the Nasdaq, and ultimately an acquisition by Oracle for $955M in 2012. Steve is a frequent speaker at various forums involving B2B marketers, and authored a book entitled “Digital Body Language” about deciphering customer intentions online. His experience has given him great perspective on what it takes to successfully manage innovation in both startups and large organizations. What follows are four areas that are critical for successful disruptive innovation. Read more
The SoapBox Goal Setting Guide (with worksheets!) came to life in the summer of 2016, as part of our annual company retreat to Algonquin Park. One of the things we wanted to do at the retreat was put some focus on the personal development and growth of our employees.
Why your innovation strategy needs employee ideas and how you can get them
Innovation remains a key focus and stated priority for many organizations, and for good reason. The world is enamoured with the Uber, Airbnb and other disruptive company success stories. For leadership it creates both a desire to create their own equally disruptive offerings and a fear of becoming obsolete. But with disruption leading the conversations around innovation, have we lost sight of the value of continuous improvement? Research indicates that much of the time, it’s these small, incremental changes that yield much better results. Read more
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