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Simple tips to create an innovative environment for your team

17 Feb

I really feel proud and motivated when my clients call me up, and give me feedback regarding my work. One of such experience happened yesterday.

Jitesh (my client) is a small business owner, who runs his graphics design business from India. Few months ago, he came to me and asked – “Bhavin, my business is doing bad. Our customers are not happy with our products, and it seems that we have lost our innovation capabilities in the rapid expansion. Can you help me fix this?” Yesterday, he called me up again and told me – “Bhavin, your ideas worked. Our customer satisfaction has increased by 40% as compared to last year, and we are coming up with really great designs. You should check us out. Thanks for your help, buddy”.

So, what happened between now and then? Trust me, I didn’t gave him any magical powers through which his employees started innovating. I knew that he has top performers in his team. What he might be missing is – the innovative environment. And that’s what I provided to him. Following are couple of tips that helped him in creating an innovative work environment.

Implement a suggestion box system:  Don’t just have a suggestion box, which does nothing. Have some mechanism to review these suggestions on daily basis (assigning a resource to review these suggestions on part-time basis would be your best bet). Make it a simpler process, there should not be any lengthier forms and long paperwork. I would recommend you to provide an intranet application with four key elements – idea, implementation plan, evaluation, accept/reject. And yeah! Have some mechanism to recognize these ideas. For example: great ideas of the year award.

Have an event for the best ideas: If there is an important issue that needs some creative ideas, then why not have an event where people with the best idea wins something? You can also have a  team contest where teams post ideas on an intranet site and everyone can vote for their favorite. Or throw a party where people have to contribute ideas to get treats such as snacks and drinks.

So, what do you think? Do you have any other ideas to create an innovative environment? If you do, then please feel free to share your opinion with me. I would love to hear from you. Thanks. – Bhavin Gandhi

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2011 in 21st Century, Leadership, Management

 

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