You would like to innovate in order to maintain your company but the task seems to be difficult.
Where could you begin with ?
How could you carry out innovation ?
You have maybe already vaguely thought about innovation, but you may think that this solution is maybe not for you because of a lack of time, means and skills. Make no mistake : innovation is now accessible to beginners thanks to the tools that the digital revolution brings.
Before you get started, you will have to conduct a creativity session and a brainstorming. Furthermore, setting up in your company this work method involves respecting a certain amount of rules.
Firstly a diverse group has to be created; for example an inter-service or inter-generational group, or a group made of people of different levels of position within the company.
The richness of a group reflects by its’ plurality of views and the complementarity of its’ skills. Try and mix the services and generations, and you will forget about hierarchy for an instant. Try and mix skills to break the sterile and standardized ways of thinking for creation. The richness of a creativity session is possible thanks to unexpected ideas, those who seem at first sight to be eccentric. The group has to feel comfortable and must be able to speak openly without any constraint or fear of being judged.
The ideas of one party make the ideas of the others go further. The notion of the group is therefore essential since ideas make their way and associate thanks to everyone’s mental models.
You have to congratulate and encourage each and every speaking out and you have to forbid judging.
Then choose an energetic facilitator who feels comfortable with public speaking but who is also able to move aside to enable others to speak without overtaking the group. He must also be able of building confidence, cohesion and to develop a synergy enabling creation.
Furthermore you will have to define a topic and formulate some questions - for example what will my company look like within 10, 15 or 20 years? - and subquestions, for example : « will we still offer the same services ? How will we communicate with our customers ? Which tools will we use ? »
Note all the ideas on a paperboard and remember that there are no bad ideas. The facilitator will have to make sure that there will be no judgements, for example « your idea is no good, it has already been suggested 2 years ago and it did not enable a concrete design... ».
Those of the shyest kind will be able to start to speak thanks to Post-it notes they will stick on the paperboard. Once the warming up done, you will have to move on to oral expression exclusively.
When you will have a big amount of ideas, keep those that appear to you as being the most unrealistic since they will be those guiding you in the innovation journey.
In order to innovate, one has to get scared even if it means that one seems to be crazy. You will achieve what nobody has achieved yet ! Differentiating yourself thanks to innovation is an excellent way of renewing your company. You will indeed be able of conquering new markets due to innovation.