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 loop 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 a couple things we all know:
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 an earlier post we covered how we define innovation and in another we covered the dangers of getting too caught up in all the disruptive innovation buzz. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the different types of innovation, so we’d like to offer a framework to help make things easier. There are a couple of ways we find useful to categorize different types of innovation. We like to look at the types of ideas, the source of ideas, participants in the innovation process, and the focus of innovation. Read more
Scientists at Stanford were the first to discover a correlation between willpower and success. Further studies a few decades later uncovered that not only is it correlated with success, but that willpower is a muscle that can be fatigued. The implications of this in the workplace are significant. One 2010 study at a manufacturing plant in Ohio found that by addressing factors that taxed willpower, assembly line workers increased productivity at the plant by twenty percent within two months. How did they help these workers bring more of their willpower to the job? They gave them more control. Read more
We often hear from leaders and employees that they want to collaborate on issues that impact the projects they’re working on day-to-day. Wouldn’t you? Working with your colleagues to accomplish a timely and relevant goal is satisfying because you can actually see the impact you’re having. Read more
Research shows that there is a difference between people who are creative and people who aren’t. However, the good news is that creativity is something that can be learned and improved on. All you need is a little awareness of key ingredients necessary to develop processes, habits and a culture that fosters creativity. Read more