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7 Tips to Foster Innovation

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7 Tips to Foster Innovation

  1. 1. ureo™ 7FOSTER INNOVATION Tips to
  2. 2. www.cureo.com You know innovation is important, but are you doing enough to help your team innovate? Let’s take a look at seven tips that will help you foster innovation. 20% 12% A 2013 survey conducted by Accenture found that only 20% of respondents felt that their company supported employees who wanted to try something new. Even more discouraging, only 12% felt tolerance from management if a new idea failed. An environment like that is not one that encourages new and innovative thinking. So how do you set up a process that helps your team innovate? Source: http://www.accenture.com/ sitecollectiondocuments/pdf/accenture-survey- enabling-culture-innovation-entrepreneurialism.pdf
  3. 3. www.cureo.com Develop a Plan. 1 Don’t just launch headlong into a new project without first considering what your goal is and how you want to get there. If you end up straying from your plan—and you probably will—that’s okay! Developing a plan gives you a starting place. Without doing that, you’ll waste time at the beginning of your project figuring out what you’re doing. Also, having a clearly stated plan allows you to provide transparency to everyone involved in the project. If people understand how your project is being run, they are more likely to feel engaged and invested in the project.
  4. 4. www.cureo.com Focus on Your Customers. 2 Ask yourself what your team does to serve your customers. Your answer shouldn’t just be “we make widgets.” Staying focused on your customers and how you can serve them better should be a catalyst for innovation. What problem do your widgets solve for your customers? Does your team have the skills to solve that problem in a better or new way? Can your team apply its skills to solve related problems for your customers?   
  5. 5. www.cureo.com Failure isn’t something you’re typically told to seek out in the business world, but if you want to develop new ideas and processes you will experience failures along the way. Learn from your failures and show your team that failure isn’t always a bad thing. Instead of only praising members of your team that experience success, show appreciation and praise for team members who developed innovative and new ideas. Reward effort and new ideas—not just results. Embrace Failure. 3
  6. 6. www.cureo.com Think Broadly. To turn a group of people into a business, there needs to be some kind of organization. Your business is probably broken up into different departments and teams. Without this, it’d be hard to get everyone coordinated and on the same page. While getting stuck in silos would be easy, you have a lot to gain by looking for opportunities for partnership outside of the groups you typically may work with. Fresh working connections can often lead to fresh ideas. Seek out collaboration opportunities with other teams and departments to innovate. Working with other teams may result in helping both sides think about ideas in new, innovative ideas. 4
  7. 7. www.cureo.com 5 You shouldn’t place too much value on reaching a consensus because the answer that pleases everyone often takes longer to get to—and more importantly—probably isn’t taking any chances. If you want to truly innovate and come up with a new idea, it’s likely that there will be people on your team who disagree with part of what you are doing. Although it takes longer, consensus seeking can be more comfortable because you can try to make everyone happy. As a leader, though, it is your job to steer the group toward new ideas and manage disagreements between group members. Be Wary of Consensus Seeking.
  8. 8. www.cureo.com Actively Seek Input. Extroverts often find it easy to speak their mind in front of a group while introverts may not. Make sure to give easy opportunities for everyone on your team to contribute to the discussion. People who are more naturally introverted may not fully understand the value that their contribution can have to the team. When you hold meetings or facilitate collaborative discussions online, do your best to bring everyone into the conversation to help make sure that your team can benefit from everyone’s point of view. 6 TIPS TO GET EVERYONEINVOLVED • Pay attention to who isn’t speaking—not just who is. • Watch body language to see if it looks like someone is heavily engaged, but quiet. • If a small group of people are dominating the conversation, ask other members of their group for their opinions.
  9. 9. www.cureo.com Use the Right Tools. 7 Although it might seem counterintuitive, implementing the right structure and systems will improve your team’s ability to be flexible and innovate. Depending on your industry, there may or may not be ready-made innovation processes to follow. If you are a manufacturer, for example, you might choose to use a tool such as Stage–Gate® to help you define your innovation process. If you are in marketing or professional services you may choose something else. Regardless of what industry you are in, the important thing is that you need a system —and you need the tools to support it to keep the system running smoothly.
  10. 10. www.cureo.com Cureo intranets and extranets grease the gears of innovation by helping you collaborate and innovate more effectively with people inside your business and with clients and other external stakeholders. About Cureo: Cureo is a web-based collaboration platform that creates secure, social intranets and extranets for organizations looking to engage their constituents and reduce reliance on emails, advance commerce, and get things done. Simplify Innovation with Cureo Easy-to-follow messaging Instead of tracking down emails in your cluttered inbox, Cureo gives you a password protected messaging system designed to make group communication easy. Meeting scheduling Integrate meetings between Cureo and popular calendar apps including iCal, Google Calendar, and Outlook. Document sharing Share documents and reference documents behind Cureo’s secure double encryption. ureo™

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