Tag Archives: Innovation

Simple tips to create an innovative environment for your team

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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What can Executives learn from Obama’s State of the Union speech? (Part 1)

In the State of the Union speech, Obama touched many critical issues related to the growth of the United States. Delivering his annual State of the Union address to the US Congress, Obama made various references to emerging economies like India and China. He also unveiled his plan to maintain American leadership in an increasingly competitive world marked by the surge of nations like India and China. His plan relied on four key pillars – innovate, educate, build, and reform. These are four few crucial things that Executives should learn from his speech. In this blog, I will concentrate on innovation.

In today’s environment, most of the companies are reducing their R&D spending by drastic amount. They are trying to cut almost everything to reduce their spending and improve their profit margin. This might be the good strategy for the short-term, but it is definitely not sustainable on long-term basis. History speaks for itself. By just one Google search, you will be able to find various companies, who lost their competitive edge by reducing their spending on R&D. Reverse of this is true too. Look at Apple for example, it differentiate itself by bringing innovative products in to the market. Maybe that’s the only reason why they have crazy fan following.

Obviously, just pouring money in to R&D without an actual plan will get you nowhere. So, create an innovation plan before you think of investing in R&D. Define your goals and clarify your objectives. One thing that might help is to create a small research team, who think more broadly and creatively without outside pressure. Don’t be like those big companies, who eat their own children. Create an environment where your employees can feel innovative. Don’t be afraid of disrupting your own revenue stream with a new unit. Empower your employees to innovate, and change the organization’s culture to think out of the box. Don’t ever ditch all the little initiatives to focus on core business without at least acknowledging them.

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 January 29, 2011 in 21st Century, Leadership, Management


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