7 Strategies for Sustained Innovation

Written by Dr. Robert Karlsberg and Dr. Jane Adler

Continued from page 1

Smaller organizations can often move faster on implementing innovative ideas because they have less bureaucracy. When Jack Welch was reengineering General Electric he said, “My goal is to getrepparttar small company’s soul and small company’s speed inside our big company.”

Faster implementation encourages further inventive thinking. Think for a minute. If you had an idea for an innovation, and it required 6 weeks to clear channels and another 3 weeks to get funding, would you have lost any impetus for further contribution?

Instill A Sense of Ownership 

An ownership mentality creates a powerful incentive for inventive thinking. When an individual is clearly aware of how his or her interests are aligned with those ofrepparttar 119452 company, he or she has a strong reason to “gorepparttar 119453 extra mile” to furtherrepparttar 119454 mission.

Stock ownership is a significant, if not essential, incentive for employees. However on its own, profit-sharing doesn’t guarantee your employees will think like owners. 

When employees don’t see how their individual efforts affect company profitability, they tend to be passive and reactive. To encourage greater involvement, make sure each employee knows how his or her work affects company performance.

Southwest gave pilotsrepparttar 119455 freedom to design and implement a plan to reduce fuel consumption because they were inrepparttar 119456 best position to determine what would be effective. Pilots pitched in enthusiastically because they understoodrepparttar 119457 impact their actions had onrepparttar 119458 bottom-line and ultimately, on their own futures.

Make Sure Recognition and Rewards are Consistent 

While financial rewards are often tied to innovations, rewarding onlyrepparttar 119459 individual or team responsible forrepparttar 119460 “big idea” or its implementation, sets up a subtle competitive atmosphere that discouragesrepparttar 119461 smaller, less dramatic improvements. 

Even team-based compensation can be counterproductive if teams are set up to compete with each other for rewards. These incentives discouragerepparttar 119462 cross functional collaboration so critical to maximal performance. 

Companies that successfully foster an innovation culture design rewards that reinforcerepparttar 119463 culture they want to establish. If your organization values integrated solutions, you cannot compensate team leaders based on unit performance. If your company values development of new leaders, you cannot base rewards on short-term performance. 

A Tolerance for Risk and Failure 

Tolerating a certain degree of failure as a necessary part of growth is an important part of encouraging innovation. Innovation is a risk. Employees won’t take risks unless they understand goals clearly, have a clear but flexible framework in which to operate and understand that failures are recognized as simply steps inrepparttar 119464 learning process.

Toyota’s Production System transfers quality management and innovation authority to front-line plant workers. Workers are able to make adjustments in their work if they see an opportunity for improvement. Ifrepparttar 119465 innovation works, it’s incorporated into operations, if not, it’s chalked up to experience.

A major psychological benefit of Toyota’s method isrepparttar 119466 development of trust. Employees who trust their bosses are more likely to take intelligent risks that have potential benefit forrepparttar 119467 company. 

Eliminate Projects and Processes that Don’t Work 

As your organization innovates you need to practice what Peter Drucker calls “creative abandonment.” Projects and processes that no longer contribute should be abandoned to make room for new, progressive activities. 

While no organization wants to squander financial resources on unprofitable activities, it is actuallyrepparttar 119468 irreplaceable resource of time and employee energy that is wasted if a company holds on torepparttar 119469 old way of doing things.   

Innovation requires optimism. It’s about an attitude of continually reaching for higher performance. You can’t expect employees to maintain an optimistic attitude if they feel compelled to continue in activities that are going nowhere. 

© 2005 Dr. Robert Karlsberg & Dr. Jane Adler 

Dr. Robert Karlsberg and Dr. Jane Adler are senior leadership consultants and founders of Strategic Leadership LLC. They work with senior executives to maximize performance, facilitate transitions and accelerate major change initiatives. Contact them at 301-530-5611 or visit http://www.PsychologyofPerformance.com

Present your statistics in context for more impact

Written by Helen Wilkie

Continued from page 1

Don’t you thinkrepparttar jury is more likely to agree when given this background explanation?

Here are three ways to put figures in context for your audience.

1. Compare them to something to which they can personally relate, as inrepparttar 119451 courtroom example.

2. Compare them to a similar situation. If a new manufacturing process takes fifteen minutes, mention thatrepparttar 119452 old one took two hours, so we save 1-3/4 hours. For even more effect, tell them how much time this will save in an average shift or on a certain number of product units. Go further and translate that time into money andrepparttar 119453 statistic will now be a strong argument for change.

3. Create vivid word pictures to illustrate size: That’srepparttar 119454 equivalent of five football fields. That’s enough to fill ten Olympic-size swimming pools. If laid end-to-end they would stretch from New York to L.A. and back again.

Statistics can be great persuaders, but only whenrepparttar 119455 audience hasrepparttar 119456 means to evaluate them.

Helen Wilkie is a professional keynote speaker, workshop facilitator and author whose latest book is "The Hidden Profit Center—a tale of profits lost and found through communication." For more on presentation, visit http://www.mhwcom.com/pages/messrecundbook.html While you're on the site, sign up for Communi-keys and receive monthly communication techniques directly from Helen.

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