Chances are good you already started to implement digital tools in the last months. In many cases remote work has been the only way to keep business running in 2020, and it worked shockingly well. What does that say about change and people?
Well, sometimes we have to be forced to change, but we are also quite adaptable. As much as we don’t want another global pandemic to boost digitization, there will always be developments that force us to be agile and alter our way. Essentially, we always have to be ready for some kind of transformation, and – even more important – we have to actively promote it.
This is especially true for innovation. By digitalizing it, you can act proactively and don’t have to react to external changes. Ok, but what does that mean for companies? It means you don't have to be an expert in innovation initiatives or have your ecosystem ready to innovate together.
Just start small with the most obvious stakeholders at hand and let them shape the future. And what would be easier than to start with the people you already know, who know your company better than anybody else? It’s time to tap into the potential of your employees.
What do you need to do? Prepare your employees for change.
Things are getting more digital – the way we communicate, the way we collaborate, and the way we innovate. It’s most likely your company is already making an effort to prepare your employees for constant transformation towards a digital working space.
We don’t know how the future will look. All we can do is embrace the change and be pro-active in our steps towards what is coming next. On an organizational level, this means making better use of your employees’ collective knowledge, skills, and ideas. It means to foster intrapreneurial spirit. It means to adapt to new working methods, strengthen your employee relations, ultimately to reinvent your organization.
How this relates to innovation software
Innovation, digitalization, and change – these three words (and what they represent) are closely interlinked. Innovations change the status quo. Innovations digitalize things we do. Digitalization leads to new innovations. So there is constant change that could inspire new innovations, which lead to more changes. It’s an endless cycle.
Taking this into account, it becomes clear: this is a chicken-and-egg question for companies. Where to start? Fostering innovation? Or making things more digital? Well, the answer is none can exist without the other.
Turn your organization into an innovative powerhouse fueled by your employees and ready for every change that comes along the way.
If you decide to implement an innovation management software, there are a few things you should keep in mind. In some way or the other, they are needed to implement a digital agile innovation framework. But it is totally up to you either having the following checklist already in place before the software implementation or fostering the transition using said software.
Check this out. Check that off.
Here is a list of things you, your company, and your employees should have heard of, be used to, or know about.
- Educate: Lifelong learning is the key to success not only for individuals but for companies as well. Educate your employees in digital skills if they need it and give them a crash course in innovation. Have all the material ready to empower your employees with knowledge and provide the time to learn.
- Manage the change: Communication is key, there is no way that the new approach will implement itself. Explain the new concept, show its benefits, address the challenges, clarify your employees’ new roles, and give guidance by aligning your workforce with clear goals and strategies.
- Abolish boundaries: Long-established organizations often cling to their traditional structures. To transform themselves and to be able to react to change, companies need to decentralize decision-making. Organizational boundaries like hierarchy, fixed responsibilities, or competence silos have to be reduced or abolished in order to minimize bureaucracy. With fewer structural limits, new ideas can arise.
- Hold individuals accountable: Different people with different backgrounds have different outlooks on the world. Subsequently, everyone can have a sparkling idea. Prompt the motivation of your employees by recognizing and rewarding these ideas. And don't forget to enable your employees' sparks of genius by allowing individual time management.
- Build a culture for innovation: Innovation is all about inspiration and empowering. Motivate people to contribute, provide resources and establish awareness! Every effort toward a new idea will bring you one step closer to the future.
- Fail fast: Besides creating visibility for individual impact, make your management lead by example. Let them establish a culture which considers making mistakes as part of the journey and something you should learn from. A culture where adaptability is key and where iterations perfect the results.
- Foster dialogue: Fewer boundaries allow more room for collaboration. Especially in times of change, different perspectives, interactions, and collaboration are essential for great outcomes. The more we talk and understand each other, the more we know, the better prepared we will be for anything to come.
Combined with tools and solid strategies for innovation, all this will be the greatest value a company can have.
However, implementing an internal innovation software is just one part of it. You can only start with one topic and keep adding further relevant aspects into your working processes, building a long-lasting foundation for all your innovation and digitization efforts. You will turn your organization into an innovative powerhouse fueled by your employees and ready for every change that comes along the way.
Besides their employees, companies have many different stakeholder groups at their disposal, like customers or suppliers. Integrate them step by step into your innovation process to unlock the full potential of your whole innovation ecosystem.