In my blog entry yesterday, I posted an interview with a woman who does “microwork” on the fiverr site. Be sure to read that interview first as context. Now, as promised, here is the article on innovation she wrote for $5. Not bad, if you want my two cents…
5 Ways To Make Your Company More Innovative
Innovation is one of the most important things to keep constant in your company. Without new ideas, it’s impossible to stay ahead of the business curve. For a good example of what innovative staff can create, look at businesses like Google or Apple. Both are innovative companies, and both are extremely profitable. It’s easy to see why you should encourage innovation in your staff as a business owner.
1. Hire innovative and creative people for your company. If you continually hire people who lack creativity, or even a spark of passion for working in your business field, you aren’t going to get people who are going to be innovative. When you need to hire an intern, look for an intern who has a lot to say about what the company should do, as well as being able to help out around the office. By hiring people specifically because they are creative, you will create an atmosphere that promotes new ideas.
2. Offer rewards or bonuses for employees who come up with imaginative solutions to normal problems. Giving people an incentive to “think outside the box” is one of the quickest ways to get employees motivated to start thinking differently. If you need to be blunt, tell them flatly, “Any time that you think to yourself, ‘I wish our product had this feature,’ tell us. If it’s a good idea, we’ll pay you a bonus.”
3. Take half an hour to an hour every week to come up with new ideas. Call it a creativity break, call it a brainstorm, but meeting up with employees every week for the sole purpose of figuring out innovative solutions to all sorts of problems is a great way to get the wheels turning. Some businesses even take time off to let their employees partake in creative exercises such as painting in order to boost employee imagination in other realms of work. Moreover, these meetings offer a great opportunity for employees to prove their creative abilities to higher ups.
4. Even if the idea is downright awful, do not overly criticize or embarrass the employee who suggests it. In order to encourage others to share ideas, it’s crucial to avoid making employees regret presenting their ideas. No matter how bad the idea may be, thank them for their input, and encourage everyone to contribute their ideas to the table. Embarrassing one employee will make others think twice about sharing any ideas with you.
5. Keep staff up to date on what other companies are creating. Sometimes, reading a news article about the latest app to hit the market, or a new method of marketing is all that a person needs to jog their creative streak. Keeping staff updated on the latest in your business also will provide the added advantage of more knowledgeable staff on all levels of your business. Encourage your staff to come up with similar ideas every time you forward them an article. Talk about your business field, and keep them engaged. The more they think about the field they work in, the more likely it is that they will come up with a brilliant innovation that can turn into huge profit.