It’s 2016. Look around you. You’re living in an ongoing Digital Revolution which sparked Information Age. Around 45% of the world’s population has an internet connection and the Internet itself is being packed with solutions for entertainment, education, business and other know-hows. Businesses are turning to Cloud for performing daily activities across the globe, making time and space irrelevant. Leaps are huge, thanks to innovation.
To start an innovation program today, you don’t need huge investments in R&D department, Innovation Labs or research agencies.
All you need is: a handy tool, your Team and willingness to learn.
1. Do your homework and find appropriate software, that suit your company needs.
At the very beginning you need to map all your innovation potential and you need one place where you will collect that data. The best and the most effective way to do this is to use a software for idea management. As you’re in your phase of investigating, mapping, collecting and, very important, learning the process, you don’t need expensive software. Start with a free solution. Free idea management software. These are perfect when you’re at the beginning, because they are mostly free for small teams, up to 15 users, easy to use and have great features that support collaboration, data management and development of ideas.
"Money never starts an idea; it is the idea that starts the money." - William J. Cameron
2. Your team is your most valuable asset.
When you’re at the beginning of the innovation process, part of mapping innovation potential is choosing the right people to work with. As said, free idea management solutions are designed for small teams of 15 people. Those 15 people need to be (first of all) reliable persons, competent and qualified and overall creative persons. The creative person is flexible; able to change as the situation changes, and changes in conditions without undue stress. Your team needs to be able to document, collaborate and evaluate all their ideas. They can be your employees, associates, partners, suppliers, consultants or any of the relevant external experts. Your ideation process depends on them, choose them wisely.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead
3. If you are willing to learn, you will develop yourself and learning culture within your organization.
Willingness is a very important factor when you are starting the innovation process because of all obstacles that you will be facing. Our contribution depends on our awareness and our willingness to learn new things, listen our team, support employees’ ideas, research new possibilities, accept the support of others and openness to argument. Learning and innovation always goes hand in hand. When you’re mapping your innovation potential, you need to have a willingness to hear and accept other people’s points of view. Every team member is important and each of them will be more willing to contribute if they feel your willingness to succeed. Creating an atmosphere where everybody is motivated to work, willing to learn and contribute will lead you to a learning organization that has established innovation culture.
„The capacity to learn is a gift; The ability to learn is a skill; The willingness to learn is a choice.“
And yes, just start innovating and soon everything will fit together, like a puzzle, you’ll have a big picture of your innovation. The picture made by your employees, your services and products, your customers and, of course, you.