Lose weight. Read more. Quit smoking. We all have Resolutions, but what about your company’s Innovation Program?
Q1 is always a fun time for planning, big ideas, and setting lofty expectations – both personally and within your organization. Whether expanding the workforce or operating more efficiently, you can always do better than the prior year, and that’s starts by setting goals.
This need for improvement is (hopefully) felt company-wide and most often driven by management. They outline the problems and opportunities the company needs to address, set goals for a successful outcome, and leverage an innovation program to find the best solutions, implement them, and test the results. Whether called an “innovation program” or another name, this is the basis for improvement in organizations big and small.
So where will your focus be in 2017 and the healthy years to come?
Acquiring new customers?
Improving customer satisfaction?
Launching new products and services?
Sure, these goals are nothing new. You try to set them every year, but of course setting goals is only half the battle, and you can’t just throw them at your R&D team and hope for the best. Finding the solutions to achieve those goals can be an overwhelming task that demands a variety of insights, ideas, and approaches.
So what’s the best way to attack them?
Expand involvement in your innovation program!
On an average day, your employees come across dozens of scenarios where time or resources could be saved. Your customers think of ways your product or service could better meet their needs. The public comes across a new technology or strategy. By leveraging these knowledgeable and diverse groups, you’re opening up your innovation program to potentially game-changing ideas and solutions that your team might have missed.
Managing these large groups and their ideas can be a tall task (or is it?) and requires some thinking and formalization on management’s part, but that shouldn’t deter the organization from pursuing their creativity and insights. There are various collaborative tools like innovation management software that can help with idea management. Opening up your innovation program to venture outside of your immediate walls brings new perspectives, creates an organization where every employee is engaged in the decision making process, and customers help to improve the products and services they consume.
So apart from just setting goals this year, make those goals known to everyone and find ways to involve them in the improvement process. It takes the stress off management, improves engagement in the organization, and opens up the innovation program to new ideas that haven’t been seen before.