How to capture Innovation
Within your company
Harry Isenstein Newcastle 17/10/18
Entrepreneurs Society, Newcastle University
In today’s age of business, it is those that can keep pace with technological advancements that are able to stay ahead of competitors. For a company to reach its full potential of innovation, it needs to be at the foundation of how it operates, helping employees place an importance on the need for positive change, as well as a desire to do so.
If there is such a need for this, then how can companies help their teams be more innovative?
Big businesses often appear to be the most innovative because they produce the most frequent technological advancements, but this is often a result of them buying technology from smaller companies (e.g. Siri being bought by Apple in 2010 after it was released as an app, then re-releasing it as a feature for the iPhone 4S in 2011)
Businesses that have reached a certain level of growth can often struggle with being innovative due to increased bureaucracy, whereas change-makers in smaller companies often have two of the most valuable assets in the commercial world:
1) Time to form teams, create and develop ideas.
2) Authority from above to do so, as well as having the resources allocated to them.
So how can bigger companies do this?
An employee with ideas about how to bring around change is no use to a company if they have no concrete role.
Having them succumb to the daily routine of emails, meetings and reports leaves them little time to explore other opportunities for growth within the field. A company could risk losing this employee to a different venture if they are unable to give them the time to foster innovation, which could be of high value in that industry. There are two ways in which companies could act in order to allow their employees to focus on innovation:
1) An employee has an idea the company believes could be of high value to them and is relieved of usual duties to work on the project.
2)The company hopes to create ideas in one focused time-slot. This could be regularly (i.e. a proportion of hours in the work-week) or to be held as an annual event (i.e. a ‘hackathon’ style week where teams are formed and given a task to work on).
Incentivising creativity is also a big factor to focus on. If you’re lucky enough to have employees in your company that are able to create ideas, then incentivising them is a safe way of ensuring they stay in your team, and don’t start their own venture or go to a competitor.
It is companies that assign time to their natural creatives, or allocate resources to discover the hidden talent among their employees, that will survive in the current business world, by staying dynamic and never settling for the status quo.