In a recent post, we shared that a successful innovation strategy means that your people, technology, and culture have to work together. While a well-formed strategy involves all three of these components, today, we specifically focus on empowering your people for innovation success.
Respondents of the 2018 TIBCO CXO Innovation Survey indicated several tactics they use to equip their people. These tactics are what people focus on when working towards innovation projects, representing new ways of doing business, creating innovative projects, and skill building.
Here are the top four tactics that you can address inside your company’s walls in order to enable your people for innovation success:
1. Skill Building & Education
Ranked first at 48.49 percent, organizations look to skill building and education as the top tactic to prepare their people. Organizations can’t always expect employees to have the desired skillset when entering into a role, or leveraging new disruptive technology which is why you need to allow budget and have a plan for employee education. This can come in the form of employee-mandated training or encouraged through continuing education outside of the organization. Proper skill building and education won’t only propel employees ahead at the company, but in their careers, learning skills they need to innovate wherever they go.
2. Brainstorming & Collaboration
Coming in at 47.41 percent, brainstorming and collaboration is the second most-utilized tactic companies deploy. Putting teams together is key to moving innovation projects forward. Teams that consist of people from different departments gives the project a diverse set of viewpoints, adding business value. The more voices and perspectives a project has, the more likely it is to achieve its business goals. Additionally, brainstorming fosters a diversity of insight; the more diverse the brains in the room, the better. Ultimately, brainstorming and collaboration are necessary to effectively shake up the status quo.
3. Research & Development
Respondents identified research and development as the third tactic at 46.55 percent. This segment of the business is driven by budget, so without one, it cannot exist. Many organizations struggle to create an atmosphere for successful R&D as the budget to support it is dependent on others. However, R&D is one of the most crucial areas for innovation that can push the business forward. For an organization that is looking to innovate, you need to encourage the R&D efforts made by your people by continuing to fund that part of the business.
4. Appointing Expert Teams
The last tactic at 39.66 percent is appointing expert teams to complete innovation projects. Employees have their areas of expertise that they bring to the table. As an innovative company, you can use this skill set to your advantage. If you have a project that requires a lot of writing, employ someone who knows how to write. If it requires knowledge of blockchain, find someone who is an expert in blockchain. Appointing expert teams will not only give your people the chance to collaborate with people they wouldn’t normally work with, but it also gives them the chance use their skills to make a difference in the organization.
While these are the top tasks, there are others that respondents indicated they benefit from: working with industry experts and analysts, hiring new talents, and engaging outside consultants. These tactics require effort that comes from outside the organization and can be harder to achieve in the short term. If you want a victory in the short term, give power to your people within your company’s walls.
Innovation projects can seem daunting, especially when your people aren’t equipt with the tools they need to succeed. But, if you take the time to invest in your people, you can control your own destiny to achieve true innovation within your organization.