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
Harvard Business Review (HBR) has many good articles from thought leaders on the topic of innovation. The following list is 10 of our favourites. One thing to note is that you get four posts each month you can read for free. If you register by providing your email address, you get a precious fifteen free articles every month if you’re a subscriber. Every month, I carefully curate a list of HBR articles that I want to read from their Twitter feed (generally a great way to identify their best materials) and I pick fifteen articles I want to read for the month.
Our central nervous system plays a critical role in sending important information from the body to the brain. The brain, in turn, sends information back to the body to take the appropriate action. This feedback loop between body and brain is critical to an organism’s survival. Similarly, organizations need important information to flow between employees and leadership. This feedback is also critical to the organization’s survival. However, this is largely broken in many mid to large sized organizations. Read more
It’s time to rethink the employee engagement issue. The change we need to make is to redefine engagement beyond an annual HR measure to a continuous, holistic part of an entire business strategy. Here are a couple things we all know:
- A recent survey suggests that employee engagement surveys are largely failing
- Employee engagement is critical to performance, however, most employees today are not engaged
- What gets measured gets done
So if the employee engagement survey is dying, but employee engagement is critical to performance, what should we measure?
Employees who receive helpful, continuous feedback from managers not only work better and are more motivated, but they’re also much more engaged.
A survey conducted by leadership trainers Zenger Folkman that looked into the feedback practices of 22,000 leaders around the world found that leaders who scored in the top 10 percent on giving feedback had employees who were three times more engaged than employees with leaders scoring in the bottom 10 percent. Unsurprisingly, the study also revealed that the bottom 10 percent of leaders had employees who were three times more likely to think about quitting.
Over the last few years, many old-school views of corporate communication and hierarchy have been overturned and continue to be scrutinized. Read more
In the first have of the 20th century, Joseph Schumpeter proposed 5 types of innovation. These were:
- The launch of a new product, or a newly differentiated product offering
- Applying new methods to manufacturing or selling of a product
- Opening a new market
- Acquiring new sources of supply (either raw, or semi-finished)
- New industry structure such as the creation or destruction of a monopoly (although there are now some disputes that this no longer counts as a type of innovation)
This is still one of the most referenced lists for types of innovation. However, there are a few other important ways to classify innovation that are very helpful to an organization looking to manage an innovation program. These include the types of ideas you’ll want, where they come from, who is included in the process and finally what you want to innovate.
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