You’re a purpose driven company and your employees (and stakeholders) are passionate about what you do.
- Do you have anything in place to harness their passion?
- Are enthusiastic employees directed to help with strategic issues?
- Are employees trained on how to tap into their inner passion?
- Can you channel the efforts of passionate employees to contribute solutions to major issues by simply asking?
- Do you allow time for employees who have great ideas to develop and communicate those innovations?
- Does your leadership know how to motivate passionate employees to contribute ideas?
Once it becomes obvious that employees are being requested to make things better, you will see an outpouring of passion. Is your leadership ready to harness and direct that energy towards innovation?
Changing culture is not easy, but there are always rebels in any organization that can be encouraged to challenge the way things have always been done. Leaders at any level can allow employees the time to propose how a new idea can make things better. There can be very simple processes to document possible innovations and for a leader to sponsor an employee with the next great idea.
- Do your managers have an open door that allows employees to share possible improvements?
- Are your leaders astute in autonomy - rewarding employees with time to experiment?
- Are you willing to allow small skunkworks to evolve organically around your company?
These and so many other innovation multipliers can be implemented very quickly. Training your managers to encourage employees to share ideas can be implemented in days! Rewarding passionate employees with the possibility of making things better will multiply their passion. Learn how to invigorate your innovation efforts by allowing your leadership to amplify passionate employees.
Be an “Undercover Boss” 24/7
UNDERCOVER BOSS is a two-time Emmy Award winning reality series that follows high-level executives as they slip anonymously into the rank-and-file of their own organizations. Each week, a different leader will sacrifice the comfort of their corner office for an undercover mission to get a taste of life on the front lines of their operation. Yes, many times, undercover executives find great ideas that are spread company wide. My opinion? You can gather the same information from all around the organization 24/7.
Any leader in any organization can be an undercover boss.
- Why go through the trouble of paying a very expensive executive to spy when he can simply ask?
- Do you have a culture where your boss WANTS to hear from you, regardless of how crazy the idea?
- Do managers ENCOURAGE employees to speak up?
- Does your company reward employees who volunteer ideas?
Many employees want to make things better. Let them. This can easily start as an informal process of managers asking their employees for suggestions. In just one day, leaders can learn how to encourage ideas, support the documentation of the ideas, and even sponsor good ideas up the chain of command.
It’s obvious that we can learn from innovations, but how can failures be valuable and how can we share those insights? Failure is necessary when experimenting to find innovation, but is there a way for the process and results of experimentation to be distributed publicly? There are times when success is shared internally. Why not have a process to share and even applaud failure so others can learn what is needed to investigate a possible innovation? Applaud failure and more employees will be willing to follow the process of experimenting with what could be the next great idea.
The truth is that you want to applaud innovators - those who have a passion to make things better. If someone has an idea that fails, to keep that fire burning, applaud the effort publically to encourage more employees to document and test ideas. “If he hadn’t failed, Thomas Edison might not have become America’s most well-known and prolific innovator.” Let your leaders become coaches that tell their players to shake it off and get back out there!