There are a number of things that are going wrong in organizations the world over, and that are stopping these organizations from being innovative and thereby moving forward. One of the key issues is that people have given up. However, they haven’t given up because they don’t know how important their system is. Rather, they have given up because they feel like they will always be blamed for a failure and therefore simply don’t want to try again. Having crowdsourcing software made for businesses is important. Explaining how it works to employees is also important. But the most important thing is that the system is used properly.
Once a system is broken, putting solutions in place that do not address that core issue generally only make things worse. A bad system will always beat a good idea, so what does this tell businesses? Essentially, it says that the system needs to change, so that it sets people up for success, rather than failure. You cannot count on people to try again and again, particularly if they are constantly shot down.
How This Applies to Innovation Systems
Let’s make all of this clearer by looking at an innovation system. An innovation system includes a piece of software, the people within the organization, and the decision-makers. Each of these interact with each other with a common goal: to make the organization bigger and better. In an ideal world, the added benefit of this is that everybody feels more engaged, which makes them more productive, which increases profits.
Unfortunately, if a corporate system is dysfunctional at its core, then even the greatest innovative thinkers will hit a brick wall. Nothing sustainable can come from this. Rather, everybody will get frustrated – staff because they aren’t listened to, managers because no good ideas are forthcoming, and the board because the company remains at a standstill.
So how do you get this right? All good businesses know that they cannot thrive without engaged innovation, but if doing it wrong means it has the opposite effect, many won’t even give it the chance. Luckily, there are things that can be done to have a positive outcome.
How to Build a Positive Innovation System
- The system has to be fit for purpose and easy to use. Senior management should lead by example and embrace contributions.
- If something goes wrong, the system should be blamed and not an individual or a team.
- Make one of your first innovative questions about how to fix dysfunctional elements in the organization. Allow this to be anonymous. Repeat this once a year.
- Make sure that there is full transparency and clarity in terms of how ideas are chosen and implemented.
- When a new problem is formulated on the innovation platform, define it very clearly so people know exactly what they should think about.
A good corporate innovation system, implemented and used the right way, can propel any business to the next level. It requires a cultural shift, but that is one that has to be made.