These days, INNOVATION is the buzz word. Many organizations boast of having innovative processes and be the brightest in the field of innovation. This itself deservs a post apart, since joining the words “process” and “innovation” in a same sentence doesn’t make much sense. The innovation is based on one of the most natural characteristic of the human being:”creativity” and anyone who has worked in creative environments, knows that it is almost impossible to define rules for creativity. The solution is to stimulate environments work or people so that they feel more creative, but as I told before, I’ll wrote about this in a near future.
So let’s go back, to the main thread of the post:
Please do not think that plenty of ideas is equal to Innovation
This is one of the most common mistakes I’ve seen in this days. In example, let’s starts with a manager, who is in charge of a 10 people group and he want to get a couple of ideas which can help the team to become more competitive. To get there he think into request to each employee a set of 10 ideas.
At first glance this is a brilliant idea:
- At the end of the day the manager will have 100 ideas to work !!!
- Common sense (or hope) tells us that in a gropup with 100 ideas, for sure there are 1 or 2 good ones
- You can apply a process like an Innovation Funnel, for eveolve and select which ideas are really relevant to the business
And here it is, before the filtering process and evolution of ideas where lies the main problem, you can not force the creativity to get innovative results. If we analyze in detail the ideas, most likely, is that these are developments or improvements on current ideas. And please do not misunderstand me. This is good, very good. I am one of the main defenders of continuous improvement. However, I do not think that any of the ideas is something groundbreaking.
Another problem with this scenario is that innovation doesn’t work good with GTD (Getting Things Done). If you ask someone who is focused on a GTD model something, for sure your answer will not leave the scope in which this person is working. This is normal, GTD is based on simplicity and focus. Select a task and devote yourself to it the time needed to complete. I am not going to go into detail or variants, because I believe that the best of these techniques is to adapt to the shape of each person’s work. In this regard, I wrote about this in my post “How I organize my daily work?“, a couple of years ago. This also is good enought for a post apart (2 promises).
At this point is natural to think in a manager who wants to improve his team, to rely on this team. So that’s fine to ask them for new materials. These people are the one which have more knowledge, but the important thing is to try to find a way in which stimulate people so they can get out of their comfort zone and create really innovative ideas. In other words, stimulate their creativity with a defined objective 😉
Watch out, here I defined it as a whole for the employees. Also you can try a brainstorming session or something similar. The important thing is to be clear, once again that
Many ideas is not synonymous of innovation
If those ideas are not matured in the correct environment, it is likely to be just that > > good ideas
Greetings @ Madrid