Company Innovation Best Practices
The three best practices for both promoting innovation successfully within a company and reaping business benefits as a result include encouraging intrapreneurship in employees and coming up with policies that can be utilized during leisure time for experimentation, and creating reward system, employee forums, channels for ideas.
ENCOURAGING Intrapreneurship IN EMPLOYEES
- An intrapreneur can be defined as someone who thinks like an entrepreneur but bring their ideas to the company where they are employed instead of launching their own business.
- Intrapreneurship encourage employees to try out their ideas and let them pitch decision at their company.
- Basic idea of encouraging intrapreneurship in employees is to let them know that no idea is a bad idea.
- Top CEOs believe that, for the companies to grow fast, it is important for the people to feel like they are owners, not just employees.
- Carvana grew at 7925% over three years ending 2016, by getting employees to go beyond their responsibility to ownership, says CEO Ernie Garcia.
- Entrepreneurs like Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google are responsible for many successful innovation. There are limits to what individuals can accomplish. This is why the concept of intrapreneurship serve as a practical strategy for innovation within existing companies.
THREE DETRIMENTAL OUTCOMES OF IGNORING INTRAPRENEURS IN BUSINESS
- Lost profits due to fewer new services or products.
- Downsizing because of shrinking sales activity.
- Going out of business: Blockbuster, Circuit City, and Borders are real-life examples.
Intrapreneurship has the ability to decide whether a business would fail or succeed.
POLICIES FOR leisure hours and REWARD SYSTEM
- Concept of 15% time was invented by William McKnight at 3M, formerly known as Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company. This policy allowed employees to spend 15% of their paid work time daydreaming, doodling or experimenting with ideas that didn’t necessarily have to do with their work at the company.
- Google also allows employees to take one day a week (20%) to work on side projects.
- AdSense, which now accounts for about 25% of the Google's annual revenue, was invented during 20% free time.
- Google engineers also used 20% time to incubate Gmail, Google Transit, Google Talk, and Google News, among other projects.
- Scientist, Art Fry, invented bookmarks at 3M in 1974, during his 15% free time provided by 3M.
- 3M launched 15% program in 1948 and till date, it is a key in innovation, says the CEO.
Employee FORUMS AND ChannelS for Ideas
- Forums/channels are a powerful tool to help teams work together to publish new documents.
- A simple discussion around new ideas can often evolve into valuable knowledge which could be used to the benefit of the whole business. For instance, early discussions may end up guiding the creation of a new product and/or services.
- Forums/channels can also be used as a tool for discussion on how to improve existing content.
- The use of forums can help mitigate bias problems that many businesses face when dealing with the creation of new knowledge.
- 80% of C-suite executives believe internal communications have become more important.
- 62% of employees are leaving their companies for reasons that are communication related.
- Communication channels in a business are used for marketing and internal communications as well as human resources.
Your Research team applied the following Strategy:
We began our search by looking for recent and credible data on media publications. Priority was given to information which was either from reputable publications or was written by notable people. Valuable and relevant information was found in sources such as Forbes, entrepreneur, smallbiztrends. Few best practices that were mentioned in multiple sources were selected which include encouraging intrapreneurship in employees and coming up with policies that can be utilized during leisure time for experimentation, and creating reward system, employee forums, channels for ideas.
More information related to these best practices such as what they are, how they are used, who uses them, their impact on business growth, and what growth these best practices have provided to businesses in the past etc. was looked up. Information found on few sources such as Inc.com, toughnickel.com suggested that CEOs of top-level companies always value and promote intrapreneurship in businesses. Also, some insights on the detrimental effects on businesses that lacked intrapreneurship was found which has been included in this brief.
Other resources such as qz.com and fastcompany.com provided a great deal of details about the examples of policies that can be implemented for leisure time and reward system and how it positively impacted some of the top companies in the world, including Google.
While looking for additional information on employee forums and communication channels, sources kpsol.com and employeechannelinc.com provided information on the key advantages of using employee forums and channels in businesses.