Make sure that a log book is maintained by every innovation spiral. Weekly meeting minutes can ensure a smooth flow of information. Regular reports from each spiral ensure that the activities planned are moving smoothly. Monthly reviews can help in providing valuable feedback and opportunities for expanding participation. They also ensure top managements’ attention to projects.
Formal feedback should be provided to problem owners, who bear the brunt of implementation in unfamiliar territory.
Rewards should be an integral part of the system. Innovation should be part of the individual’s measurable job description, not just something he does if he feels like it.
* Have a talk on innovation by a Company CEO who has practiced it.
Implement like an Innovation Star. This is the day to make a final presentation to all the teams in the presence of top management. Get feedback from all stakeholders and respond to concerns. It is a good idea to leave the plan to be studied by all participants. Each can peacefully reflect on it, internalize it. This is the time to get the resource budget cleared.
All participants and stakeholders must now receive a clear communication on what to expect. Here it is important to note the process-- communication has to be long term, continuous and consistent. Human resources professionals and problem owners must ensure that the necessary training modules are implemented and their efficacy measured.
Management systems implementation should now kick in. The management information system to ensure clear measurement of action should be available to all players. The website and other internet support systems should be properly administered by a webmaster to ensure the seamless flow of information where possible. A regularly produced e-bulletin would help.
Knowledge, information and wisdom are important. ‘Know How’ is essential, but ‘do how’ is just as important. Teams by now have dived into the messy business of how to implement what they have chosen as solutions. They have created plans and strategies and worked co-operatively and negotiated the best route to take. Action now becomes the priority.
Identify and forecast the various consequences of an action. You could identify the impact of building a holiday resort in a forest. This could be
Improving the bottom line of the company
Damaging the environment
Harming the health of the employees
The impact could also be studied in various time periods: the next month, 6 months, 1 year and 5 years.
Sometimes the immediate impact on the company, may be great, resulting in short term profits. However, the long term impact could be disastrous, creating many dissatisfied customers.
Create opportunities for team mates to enjoy each other’s company in a great natural setting. Many companies have lovely campuses or parks nearby, which people hardly notice in their rush to meet deadlines - so schedule moonlight pot luck dinners. Families could be invited. This is a very useful, feel-good emotion. Welcome wonder into your life. Celebrate the beauty of the stars, and enjoy the wonder of the mountains along with team members. Greet the dawn and say goodbye to the sunset. The moonlight has been created to heal your wounds. Sleep on the lap of Mother Nature and become a child again. Go on excursions with your team.
Book launch of “Everyday Happiness Mantras” at Ahmedabad Management Association was attended by over 300 interested participants on 2nd May 2015 at 6.30pm. Here is the short coverage on it in “Ahmedabad Mirror”.
Not all innovations can grow out of even the best existing systems. When you try to grow a revolutionary new idea, within a system, stock holders and vested interests move in to close ranks to protect their own power bases.
A Star Trek Enterprise expedition is a good analogy to develop this disruptive innovation. Imagine that the old company, planet earth is about to disintegrate. You put your best warriors and key elements of your culture into a ship which takes off into space to put down roots on a ‘safe planet’. When an existing company is in the declining phase of its product life cycle, sustaining innovation may cut losses, but a fresh new area may be the key to sustained profits. The discovery of Christopher Columbus was the result of such an expedition, far away from the home base. A new company speeding in as a garage start up, could be in the right place to replace the ailing white elephant. So when the company is doing well, why not set up a few garage start-ups, starships, a few gambles and experiments? These should be small and multiple. They should have support from the top, perhaps a direct reporting relationship with the CEO.
Dr. Rekha Shetty is Managing Director of Farstar Distribution Network, a unique consultancy company devoted exclusively to innovation and creativity under the brand name Mindspower.She is an author, an entrepreneur and an original thinker. Her long term Innovation Initiative, using 47 thinking tools helps in a steep increase in profits, reduction in costs, while improving customer satisfaction levels and employee participation levels. She is a consultant to ICICI Bank, Ashok Leyland Ltd., Hyundai Motors Ltd., TVS Group, TI Group, Durgapur Steel Plant, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. and other blue chip companies.
In her very first assignment in United India Insurance, she developed a nationally acclaimed advertising campaign. During the last seventeen years, she has specialized in the field of Creativity in Management and developed her own management brand, Mindspower. She was one of Asia’s first women District Governors for Rotary International and was awarded Rotary’s highest Award – Service above Self.
Her fourth book “Innovate! 90 Days to Transform your Business” is under print and will be released by Penguin during May 2010.