Category Archives: INNOVATION NOW
Have you ever heard or thought about the priceless value of spreading Creativity “Fertilizer” in your home…workplace…community? This notion may sound odd and a little bit “out-there”…but consider the progressive impacts this type of activity can produce.
First think about the fact that most people really like becoming engaged with creative people. Whether it’s the positive energy, thinking beyond the norm, and/or just the “dream-ability” that results from an open, blended discussion.
But what do I mean by spreading Creativity “Fertilizer”? Here are a few examples:
- Writing down a fun single word on the breakroom board and asking for cool thoughts from co-workers.
- Setting 15 minutes aside every other day to just visit with a co-worker about “what-else” your group could initiate.
- Having an IDEA DROP-BOX in your workplace…for everyone.
- Including a Creativity & Innovation time on every meeting agenda.
- Sending out a monthly message to friends and colleagues asking for them “sprinkle” a little Creativity “Fertilizer” in their workplaces.
- Occasionally bringing in a professional person…not connected to your workplace and asking them to share thoughts about creativity in their world.
I believe it is critical for everyone to spread a little Creativity “Fertilizer” from time-to-time. It is a solid professional development habit and it makes innovative thoughts and actions contagious!
One of the main discussion points with every attempt at spearheading an innovative initiative is to Check Out The Competition! You know “the drill”. Is someone or another company already doing what you are thinking of trying? Is your proposed new product or service already out there and is it successful? Is there a design or option that is very similar to your innovation and therefore would it be best to just replicate their initiative/product/service?
Well let me be clear that when you are considering an alternative innovative strategy…it is very important to Check Out The Competition. However, for this TRIPLE III TIME message, I want you to also consider INNOVATION TRANSFERABILITY. What do I mean? Let’s say if you work in a public service area…don’t be afraid to transfer your service design to one utilized by the fast-food industry (i.e. Meal-Deal model). Or if a unique customer service approach is successful in a community development situation…why not try it in an auto repair setting. Or if a creative social media advertisement design works well for selling the latest salsa recipe…why not try using it to market customized job training in your area?
During my career of pushing public sector innovation every chance I got, applying INNOVATION TRANSFERABILITY has been a solid tool everyday…every time. When you Check Out The Competition and observe a new successful approach to public or private sector product/service delivery…always…ALWAYS consider the potential of INNOVATION TRANSFERABILITY! Great ideas are often not recognized for their easy application in new areas and non-traditional ways. Only when you appropriately Check Out The Competition and apply INNOVATION TRANSFERABILITY…do you see the new opportunities.
One of my regular targets for “change-action” is applying imagination to the traditional standards of measuring success and considering a Return-On-Investment. It is always easier to take out the OLD performance standards and/or fiscal “cost-per” measurements and declare a program, service or product a success or failure. But what about measuring a continuous improvement action/training? Is it a standard business procedure to re-gather affected staff to determine the minimum or maximum effectiveness of a continuous improvement initiative? Or is just offering the initiative and having everyone attend the measure of success?
Well because change, innovation and dollars all deserve “equal time” as progress and quality factors, consider these TOP 10 “What Aren’t We Seeing?” EVAL-CULATIONS! (Yes it’s a new word!) as you consider the value of your continuous improvement efforts:
- Did organizational leadership revisit the trainees and ask them “What’s the 1 THING you learned?”
- How many other colleagues did you share your positive learning experience with?
- Did the organization’s action/training prompt you to meet one-on-one with co-workers to consider a more progressive change?
- How many attendees expressed a “Something To Look Forward To!” attitude following the continuous improvement action/training?
- Was it possible to calculate the number of “spin-off” ideas that resulted?
- In follow-up discussions…did attendees appear to improve their ability to prioritize?
- Did the organization’s action/training generate increased/quality internal/external communication?
- How many attendees “stepped-up” to be more involved in future actions?
- Is it possible to witness personnel re-looking at past evaluation approaches and considering new, innovation-based designs?
- If our goal is to be better and special…as organizations, businesses, and workers…shouldn’t we try to use unique 21st Century EVAL-CULATIONS as new criteria?
Don’t ever be afraid of or limit the way you look at the value of initiatives. Better and Special deserve an always changing, always innovative measuring stick…plus it often causes FUN to be infused into your daily work.