Most organizations know why innovation is important for remaining competitive, but most also don’t know how to go about it.
This is a story that we see quite often when organizations try to prioritize innovation.
Most organizations start out with innovation as an organizational priority and they begin collecting with a suggestion box. We see this suggestion box trap a lot. And for many reasons we state here, it just doesn’t work.
From there, ideas are put on the backburner or hefted onto the shoulders of R&D and forgotten until the next year when the organization decides that innovation is still a priority. Employees become disheartened and begin to distrust leaders.
The next year rolls around, the leaders decide that this time, innovation is really the priority. They choose to save some money and use Jive or Yammer, which they already have in their organization.
Some ideas are generated (though not as many as the first time around because some employees from the last try don’t trust leaders to implement their ideas), but once again, the team is not prepared for amount of work required. This overwhelms the program and nothing ends up happening with the ideas.
Final result? Employees no longer trust leaders to do anything with their ideas. They become actively disengaged.
Despite starting off with good intentions and engaged employees, you end up with discouraged leaders and disengaged employees.
This almost guarantees that your next initiative will fail, because employees don’t want to waste their time sharing ideas that don’t go anywhere—not to mention the wasted manpower and resources spent on the first two tries.
How can we avoid this?
Do it right the first time around. Get the innovation management software you need to run a successful innovation initiative right from the beginning. By using SoapBox for example, employees are engaged and leaders are empowered to implement top ideas.
Organizations with engaged employees see higher productivity, profitability, customer ratings, and less turnover and absenteeism according to this study by Gallup. Not to mention, paired with the right features, implemented ideas can reduce costs and promote revenue opportunities and the beginning of a culture of innovation in your workplace.