Tom Donovan

Nov 272013

woman writing on an electronic boardInnovation is essential to making your company successful. Without innovation, starting a company is like reinventing the proverbial wheel – you will be doing the same things that made other companies successful, without actually bringing anything new to the table. If someone has already established that a concept is successful, what could possibly make anyone choose your company? Sure, the ideas behind it are proven successful, but they already have an established reputation and clientele. To get ahead, you must become the innovation guru of your company and bring about new ideas, concepts, and creations. How do you become an innovation guru? You must first understand the concept of innovation and innovation capacity, and the ways it will benefit you.

Innovative capacity is extremely useful in determining what new ideas will be successful in your company, and which should not be implemented at the present time. Innovation and innovative capacity allows you top track trends, demographics, and the accumulation of inventions and dynamics. By using this information, you will be able to determine what will be well received by the area in which you are working, and what may not be well received at the time.

It measures the accumulation of inventions, which can help you determine what ideas to pursue. Further, you can use innovation and innovative capacity to compare other companies in order to see where you could further improve your company. There are many ways that one can study innovative capacity, depending on your needs and the scale of your company, as the theory of innovation and innovative capacity can be applied to any scale of group that would fit. This would include specific age groups, cities, and neighborhoods – even entire countries if that is the scale your company needs. The accuracy of your results will depend on the area you studied as compared to the scale of your company – these should match as closely as possible, as well as how in depth your study goes.

Once your company is established, as the innovation guru you cannot simply stop there. Fortunately, the theory of innovation and innovative capacity allows you to continue studying trends and what the public is receptive to. This is especially important in today’s economy, where the market is fast paced and business and company owners must keep up with trends. Innovation and innovative capacity allows you to determine early on where there may be a market niche. Through your research, you can determine very early on where there is a need in the community or marketing area, and your company can be the first to fill that need with a product or service. In addition, as trends change, you will be able to determine where an initially innovative concept that was successful is beginning to slip out of what the public sector requires. Therefore, if something is no longer working for your company, you will not waste time and money trying to make a concept that is no longer valid work.

Innovative capacity is essential for keeping up with marketing trends in today’s fast paced economy, and your company will benefit significantly if you make sure you keep up with today’s trends.

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Nov 132013

Three women posing as three monkeysThere comes a time in any organization that change becomes detrimental to the survival of the company. An organization that does not or will not consider change is destined to failure and eventually will cease to exist. Barriers to creativity and innovation must be identified and a creative innovation implementation plan set in place.

First, it is important to identify such barriers in order to overcome them. Fear- Fear of failure, ridicule, of decision- making, making mistakes, of taking risks, of change, and fear of the unknown can all be factors, which can hinder the creative mindset. This keeps a person from exploring new ideas and is the number one reason that creativity and innovation do not take place. In addition, poor leadership and commitment to change can play a massive role. If an employer is not given the opportunity or encouraged to be creative, it can almost be guaranteed that nothing new will occur.

Sometimes old policies can also stifle new ideas and fresh approaches. A company’s mind-set and procedures can smother out inventiveness to a point where fewer ideas come forward and the creative minds tire of attempting to hurdle the obstacles of numerous policies and procedures.

At times the pressure that a company may expect its employees to produce immediate results can hinder the creative and innovative side giving way to productivity coming first and foremost. It should also be recognized that each employee has his or her own background, beliefs, attitudes, and values. This can lead to a lack of personal ambition and motivation.

So now that the barriers have been identified, how can a company create an atmosphere to promote creativity and innovation? The minds of the employees must be stimulated, excited, and nurtured to produce creative thinking. They must be freed of any barriers that impede the ability to fully expand the potential within their grasp. A company should promote an atmosphere where ideas are valued, considered, and possibly even implemented as needed. This will allow trust, passion, and a vision for creativity in the workplace. That being said, time for creative thinking must also be implemented into the work schedule to allow for such. Also, it is important to establish a measuring system for the creative and innovative capacity of the organization. What gets measured tends to get done. It may be an incentive to employees as well if there is some type of reward.

Leadership roles must also change their attitudes towards creativity and change. If an employee can see that their ideas will not be subjected to harsh criticism or be ignored, but will genuinely be considered, the fear factor will begin to dissipate. A company should attempt to make creativity and innovation a part of all strategies and policies. This should be sewn into every meeting that staff members attend. Set up broad perimeters for then to operate upon, and then step back and allow them to work. It is also imperative that employees have the tools and training available to them to unlock their creative and innovative potential.

Promote and expect a climate of cooperation and collaboration. Lastly, avoid any quick fix solutions or change. A long-term strategy must be put into place to ensure an ongoing focus on creativity and innovation. This will allow the organization to maintain their competitive edge, meet new challenges, and continue to grow and improve. This will keep your organization “one step ahead”, being free to search opportunities through innovative methods for growth and improvement. Change is constant in today’s society, so we must allow ourselves to embrace and accept that change with excitement, readiness, and preparedness.

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Oct 302013

Human resource concept - abstract illustration with signInnovation is often spoken about in business meetings, but for the most part the true meaning of innovation in terms of how to apply it is often misunderstood. Understanding the importance of innovation for businesses lies in the foundation of building it through your company starting with your Human Resources department.

Innovative human resource management consists of hiring new employees who bring new ideas, methods and procedures to your work environment that keeps your business ahead of the competition. All too often Human Resources is the last department to undergo any type of reform that brings innovation to the workplace. But the truth is that innovative ideas for HR can make the difference in keeping your company ahead of its competition.

Here are a few innovative ideas of HR that can overhaul and broaden the focus of this all too often overlooked department. Innovative human resource management starts with the people who do the hiring for you.

Reach Out: The days of placing an ad and having the best people striding through the door are over with. Your HR department needs to reach out to the places where the best employees can be found. Through partnerships with universities, training schools or other educational institutions that create innovative minds. Make your presence known at these places and gear your advertising to reach them.

Hire Out of the Box Thinkers: Perhaps the biggest setback business engage in is hiring individuals who think most like the management. You don’t want yet another “Yes” person, you need people who think outside the box and come up with new methods, ideas and solutions to help your company compete. The goal should be to hire people that do NOT fit the company profile. Often this does not happen because such people don’t “fit in” or they may be “unlikable”. The truth is that if you hire people who think like everyone else in the company, the business will soon stop growing.

Question Effectively: All too often in the interview process questions are asked to divine the employee’s “personality” rather than their actual ability to think. You need to craft your questions to get answers that reveal how an employee sees a situation and arrives at a solution. It doesn’t need to be complex, it just needs to reveal how an employee would handle situations, address issues and come up with new ideas when needed.

Emphasize Rewards: To attract the right people, you need to create a rewards package for innovative thinking. It doesn’t have to be grandiose or even expensive, but it does need to convey the importance of coming up with new ideas and rewards to offer motivation. Often, a single small idea can save a company thousands of dollars or a new way to performing a procedure can shave hundreds of hours off production time. These are the types of innovations that should be encouraged.

When you are trying to stay ahead in today’s highly competitive world, bringing innovation to your Human Resources department can greatly assist you in staying on top and not becoming stale and losing your way.

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Oct 162013

key performance indicatorsAn excellent way to assess competition for a company in any industry is via competitive benchmarking metrics. These dimensions will definitely be able to determine the functionality of a business in contrast to its opponents as well as the business standard. By incorporating competitive metrics for innovation benchmarking could give a business a snapshot to urgent activities for improvement as well as advancement of its procedures and products.

Metrics are essentially qualities that have actually been given a quantitative dimension. Companies, especially those that have to answer to shareholders, use benchmarking as a method of putting your company’s functionality from the most effective practices that may be potentially usable across different departments. Often benchmarking of any type can give the indication of how a company is doing because there are several factors that can be tracked in use for evaluation.

Benchmarking by using metrics renovation provides a business to pursue particular goals that are achievable so that the company can expand with realistic expectations. The bench mark is what is looked at to be the greatest in the company, the example to which innovative and creativity are goals that all others aim towards. It delivers inspiration as well as motivation to press a company to do better. If a company does not set forth any type of benchmarks as a directive, they can potentially become stagnant and lose potential market share in the marketplace.

Human resources often use HR metrics to track modification over time. In most organizations in the global marketplace, there is a persistent mode of responsibility to demonstrate how each function supports as well as adds to its company and thus, metrics are the ticket for various departments to become a lot more noticeable in the company. In addition, shareowners expect an appropriate return on their financial investment on human resources for tracking so that they can determine what currently works if it produces a positive outcome for the company in the form of profits. At this point, investors and other consultants can view human resources or capital as a return to their firm’s financial interests. If the results are lacking, there is the possibility of slashing budgets in areas that are not shown to be an area that can improve.

The greatest method to use competitive benchmarking metrics is to take the information it provides and locate answers to the shortcomings of a company that can quickly be remedied. Improving, developing, as well as innovating existing methods serve to benefit the business in a competitive setting. However, there can be adverse reactions if innovations and creativity are stymied. There could be a consensus amongst those in the company to not be as creative as possible because there is an inherent risk to going above and beyond the call of duty. The push to be better than before is consistently a good motivator, however metrics for innovation must always be tweaked so that staff members are empowered to think outside the box so that everyone benefits.

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Oct 092013

The successful execution of a person analizing a graphan intervention strategy would be incomplete without the thorough and detailed process of innovation strategic analysis. Typically, many organizations will choose to perform a gap analysis in order to identify and prioritize change areas which might include, innovation strategy context, learning plans, flexible organization arrangements, and transparent communication practices just to name a few. While it must be understood by companies that the delivery and successful execution of these items will not occur overnight, through proper virtualization they can ultimately be broken down into much more manageable size tasks. Through the use of the appropriate innovation strategic analysis, companies can chart their course and understand how to approach their process while following the most appropriate innovation strategy context.

While the move towards enhanced business practices and processes and procedures that lead to revolutionary developments, there may often times require major and far-reaching adjustments to be implemented throughout the entire company or organization. In addition to this, the focus and directive of the is this entity must also adapt and ultimately conform to these modified organizational philosophies. For some companies in today’s continually changing business environment, it can be extremely beneficial to take a sample of innovation strategy and break it down into key components. Once deconstructed the organization can then pick various elements and begin implementing each. Through the belief in the process, the organization will be able to successfully chart and navigate its intervention strategy context and ensure that their message and top-down leadership has full buy-in. To speak metaphorically, if the captains of the ship are not on board, steering the boat will become a problem. Since these innovation strategies tend to be more longer-term projects, convincing individuals of the importance to stay the course is absolutely essential.

While some organizations choose to adopt pilot strategies in terms of execution, the core of the organization should be involved from the beginning of this change process. Companies that have the resources to provide dedicated staff to the development of these innovation strategic analysis projects are extremely lucky. They will find that using sample of innovation strategy they can further clarify their own innovation strategy context and ultimately deliver upon the commitment to the strategy. Through organizational buy-in and the direct approach of leadership coupled with systematic persistence, any organization who decides to undergo this change process must always have these factors in place beforehand. Success hinges upon the combination of these aforementioned items. Knowledge transfer is essential and the continuous feedback cycle throughout the process must also be heavily emphasized. Organizations who keenly understand these key areas will be well suited to succeed in the assessment of their plans and ultimately the development of their overall strategy. These processes are designed to give businesses the advantage and keep them relevant in an ever-changing global business environment. Through the effective use of technology and the understanding of business dynamics, companies utilizing these strategies undoubtedly enhance their competitive advantage.

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Oct 022013

woman making coffee in a restaurantYour company needs talented employees? The staff that will make your company better, successful, leading possibly to withdraw to the new market level.

Of course, yes – will answer any manager and owner, who is interested in business development. But how to attract talent to the company? Follow a few simple guidelines, and soon at your disposal will be a team of success.

1. Define the objectives: why you need new staff, what qualities should they have and what qualities / skills you are ready to teach them.

2. Identify the training program. Education – one of the factors influencing the motivation and loyalty of your employees. Train staff, we want them to be better, more perfect, more efficient, and thus bring better results.

3. Define a system of incentives and bonuses associated with the outcome. Growing prosperity of your employees, should be associated with the growth of your company and your employees need to know it well and trust you.

4. Turn the recruitment process in the most important aspect of your business. The recruitment issue is a question of your company’s strategy.

5. When working with the staff, consider the following three factors: employment, career development, and training. Form these factors in the development cycle of employees in your company; create a system of training employees to attain the goals of the company.

Assess your staff on the following criteria:

  • how much staff is informed about the goals of the company
  • corporate strategy, known to each employee
  • What skills each employee has
  • which skills employee aims to develop
  • how much an employee participates in a program of corporate and personal training
  • how much staff is respected in the company
  • how much the employees are paid for in
  • how much is encouraged independent thinking
  • What is the employee leadership potential, what tasks with the development of a current project you are planning to give him as an employee working in a team, what strengths of the employee can be use to achieve the goal
  • What results has the employee achieved in your company

Additionally, given the specifics of your business, create your own criteria and develop a system of development of these criteria through learning. The development of your staff, will allow you to grow talent in the company and to create a business that focuses on growth and development.

Human capital – the most important resource in maintaining the competitiveness of the company. It is through working with people, you can build an innovative and competitive business.

How to create an innovative team in your company

Innovation contributes to the development of the competitiveness of your company. No matter what approach you will find, will be used, and if it is new or old. Importantly, these approaches provide you competitiveness. In this is the innovation. Creating innovative team, you will ensure continued competitiveness of your company.

How to create a team, result-oriented, aimed at effective communication and goal achievement?

Of course, it is possible to act on the principle that we are all seeking to destroy the old to construct the new; but you can try to create an effective team among current employees.

Exactly with this quality innovative leaders differ from leaders who not only attract new talent, but also know how to motivate current employees.

Consider the algorithm for the training of the company’s employees:

1. Identify old problems that prevent you working, and fix them.

2. Use only plain and simple tools in your work, get rid of the difficulties.

3. Write: What kind of employees need to be on your team. What strong professional and personal qualities they need to have. Map the desired with your employees. Think of short-term training program to improve the necessary skills.

4. Find people with abilities and talents that you need. Think about how you will attract them to your company’s team. How are you going to motivate them to work, and evaluate the results.

5. The objectives and the results you are planning to achieve must be tangible and understandable. Make sure all your employees know what results you seek. Put the purpose and intended results in writing on the bulletin board, play with them, work with them.

6. Each employee in the team must know the strengths of the team members. Forget the poor quality, ignore weaknesses, work and develop the strengths. Think about effective communication, developing and applying the strengths and qualities of your employees.

7. Do not criticize, but build more! Criticizing is easy, much more difficult is to build. The criticism kills initiative and excellent solutions. Do a simple experiment. Imagine any bottle of water: criticize it: it is ugly, uncomfortable, has a bad cork and label, etc. Now try to offer something new in order to improve it. Tell the difference?!

8. Evaluate the ability to properly communicate and be sociable in the team, if necessary, conduct training in the team.

Create your standard of work in a team, create your innovative standard of teamwork. Well-known fact – the smaller the standard deviation, the higher the efficiency. Work with the standard, build up your standard.

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Sep 242013

multiple home symbols made with human handsIn businesses, motivation and innovation go hand in hand, and of course, one leads to another. In the dynamic world of business which has become more competitive than ever before with the globalization, both modernization and motivation are important determinants of success. A motivated workforce can be the biggest asset for any company. In the current scenario, especially when companies are finding it hard to survive in the fierce competition, a motivated workforce can be the biggest and most sustainable competitive advantage that a company can possess.

The workforce today is much more knowledgeable and aware of their rights and worth. It is no longer possible to keep them motivated with salary hikes or performance incentives. Employees are well aware of how important they are to the organization and how sought after they are in the market. In order to keep this new breed of workforce motivated, companies have to resort to innovative ideas. Going by the Maslow’s theory, the workforce today has moved up the pyramid and requires more than the “basic and essential” things to be motivated.

The most innovative approach to motivate employees is to encourage innovation and creativity in organizations. By encouraging employees to come up with innovative ideas for the betterment of the organization, companies can make them feel important and valued. It motivates workforce to think creatively in order to come up with ideas pertaining to new product development, new ways to market the product and creative ways to run the organization in a way that increases productivity and profits. This is not only beneficial to the organizations, but also has a favorable impact on the motivation of the employees.

There are many companies around the globe that have realized the importance of innovation and creativity in organizations and have created a work culture that encourages creativity, but not all of these companies succeed in attaining favorable results. The reason for this is simple; although new ideas are encouraged, they are never been implemented in these organizations. The thing that motivates an employee the most is to see their ideas being implemented and put to practice. Motivation and creativity are not mere buzzwords; they are potent tools that can help your company sail through a tough business environment. There are many other innovative ways to motivate employees like training, rewards and appreciation. Without a doubt, one company that always comes to mind while talking of motivation and innovation is Google, which has used both these concepts effectively to scale heights of success.

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