Driving Innovation

March 21, 2007

This article has been moved here…..

In order to drive innovation in your company you need to have an innovative way of tackling the rewards and recognition system, which is the cornerstone of any such initiative.

Considering employees do have needs for achievement and status, definining and creating systems and processes that rewards employees based on their innovation would be an ideal way to tackle something like this. However the issue of how a structured rewards and recognition system encourages employees to change their behaviour must also be studied in depth before one is rolled out.

There are certain things you must look at as an organization if you want to foster an atmosphere of innovation. These basics will give you a foothold with which you could promote innovation in the organization.

The first step would be creating a team that maps out a innovation road map for the company, its framework, goals and expectations.

As discussed earlier, since the rewards and recognition program would form the cornerstone of this initiative. Consistent acknowledgement of those who contribute ideas, knowledge, and time must also be done. It is also very important for the senior management to recognize innovative design teams and champions, while peers should typically nominate and recognize teammates for their contributions to the overall effort.

One of the biggest motivators of innovation for an employee is recognition, so while implementing a rewards program ( monetary or otherwise ), keep in mind that for the long term success of the program you need to make innovation self-rewarding. Being perceived as an expert by peers and the management acts as a huge incentive to employees.

It is also important to provide recognition to volunteers, change agents, and model innovators. Associating names with such changes and improvements automatically increases the employees self-worth and willingness to engage in future endeavours.

“Spread the word” – is a great way to increase visibility across the organization for success stories and the people behind them. The benefits of a medium like this would include greater buy-in for the initiative.

And finally, linking innovation to the core cultural values of the organization should be the last step. Only once this is accomplished can you call the organization a true innovator.