Stoking organizational innovation starts with identifying organizational needs…no matter how big or small. Whether it is in a new offering to your clients or an internal process that is out of date, it is important to encourage new ideas and take a holistic approach to execute those ideas.
That takes work though, to create actual results via fully-formed innovative ideas. And it takes multifaceted thinking and behavioral approaches to work—we call it a WEapproach—a Whole Emergenetics, cognitively diverse mindset.
What does this cognitively diverse innovation look like in practice? Let’s take a topic every organization can use: Getting the most out of meetings.
- Identify a Need (Conceptual Thinking): We spend too much time in meetings and our staff meetings don’t result in anything new. We need a new approach for staff meetings.
- Create a Plan (Structural Thinking): Review the process of meetings and the agendas. We can reformat staff meetings and create a deadline-driven approach that heightens organization and adheres to timelines.
- How Does this Help/Affect People? (Social Thinking): Solicit different opinions on how to improve meetings. Make changes and develop a collaborative approach to ensuring meetings have real, focused roles. Make them convenient and about topics that are relevant to employees.
- Why is this Important? (Analytical Thinking): A new way to approach meetings will generate greater productivity and better project completion rates. Develop a system for each employee to provide feedback on project development. A Less-is-more approach to meetings means more time spent on getting things done.
Communicating the Project (Behavioral Preferences)
- What kind of communication (Expressiveness) method should we use to get employees behind the idea? Create a multifaceted approach to communicating new kinds of meetings—a town hall as well as 1-on-1 conversations.
- Who should drive this forward (Assertiveness)? Ensure that those who own the idea are bringing others along to help move it forward. Gaining champions around new ways of meeting will be key for adoption.
- How do we ensure this is both flexible to new approaches and focused enough to implement immediately and for the long-term (Flexibility)? Develop feedback forms to ensure that the meetings are accomplishing their stated objectives.
What this process shows is that there’s no threshold for innovation. Any part of improving the organization comes from innovation.
It also clearly demonstrates that innovation can and should come from any employee. And, for innovation to be truly successful, it must tap into all parts of the brain so that every employee can be connected. That means employees feel both empowered to innovate and will get behind great new ideas.