How to create an innovative culture – Part 1

I recently attended the CFO Rising conference in Orlando, FL put on by CFO.com.  At the conference it became clear that as the economy continues to challenge all of us, the companies and people that are thriving have something in common.  THEY ARE INNOVATING!  So what exactly is an innovative culture?  Everything!  From streamlining internal process that are time consuming and inefficient, saving man hours, to looking at new revenue opportunities for their products.   I know not exactly ground breaking, but it made me think,  “How do we get people in our organizations to INNOVATE and have an INNOVATIVE CULTURE?”

INSPIRING INNOVATION:

People are often inspired when there is a competition.  So I challenge your organization to create an internal challenge.  Have each department come up with one idea they submit with an innovative idea.  The idea could be a method for reducing DSO, increasing sales, revamping a product packaging to be more user friendly, anything.

SUBMISSIONS:

I recommend you educate the team members on how to present the idea.  I recently attend a Dale Carnegie course and loved their format for submitting innovations.  So I summarize below:

1. Background and state the issue
2. State three  proposed solutions each with  a).  Pros    b). Cons
3. State your recommended solution and why
4. State the Return on the Investment

For those of you utilizing IBM Cognos Planning it would be pretty easy to build a little planning model that they could submit their ideas.  IBM Cognos BI could be used to measure the performance of the innovation.

REWARD:

In discussing this with a client, he came up with the idea that you could reward the department team members a percentage of the savings/increased revenue that the company experienced as a result of implementing the innovation.  I really liked that idea, but make sure you pay on actual experience benefit not forecasted.

So, let’s get out there and work on having an innovative culture for your organization.

See Part 2 HERE

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