Want to innovate? Stop talking about innovation

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A new guide suggests a number of ways to get teams moving – including ditching the word ‘innovation’.

Summer is still in full-swing and with many professionals focusing more on pending vactation than closing the next deal, how do you keep your employees -- and yourself -- motivated? Rebecca Knight of the Harvard Business Review claims to have the answers and we've summarized the best.

First step: go through the archives

Whilst this might appear desperate, finding out what used to work, and what didn’t, is a good way to get started. This is because success is not about the idea per se, but about how it was carried out. “Maybe it was a good idea before its time or maybe it was an idea that was not managed well,” says Scott Anthony, the managing partner of Innosight and the author of The First Mile. Implementation is what matters, not the idea itself.

Second step: bring in different points of view

As successful brokers have often told this magazine, having knowledge of business beyond the mortgage industry can help them stand out from their competitors. Failing that, you can always bring in specialists from other fields to speak to your team, or even go as far as touring the offices of other companies. This is necessary as who we normally talk to, and what we choose to read, usually reinforces our point of view (MPA excluded of course!).

Third step: stop talking and help them get on with it

Whatever you do, don’t talk about an ‘innovation initiative’, suggests Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg of the puzzlingly-named Innovation Architects advisory firm. The term has “been talked to death,” he argues, and “If you say it, people will look at you with a vague stare.” Instead, you should make it easier for employees to suggest and put new ideas into practice, perhaps through a special budget, small-scale testing or freeing-up employees from other tasks.

You can read the full article on the Harvard Business Review’s website.

 
  • Victor Simone on 2014-08-11 6:23:21 PM

    Step 4
    Wait till September

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