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10 tips to help your teammates think better

Last updated on: October 12, 2012 09:19 IST

10 tips to help your teammates think better

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Courtesy Yourstory.in

Vipin Thomas, Product Manager, MangoApps, a collaborative enterprise social network service provider suggests that motivation and promotion play an important part in stimulating innovation at the workplace. Read on...

Ideas can be in the form of new products or services, cost-reducing techniques, process improvements, or innovative business models and methods.

There are no doubts that the benefits of innovation occur in all aspects of the financial statements.

Most great ideas for enhancing corporate growth and profits aren't discovered at your research centre or brainstorming in the conference rooms, they come from the people who on a day to day basis face the company's battles, who serve the customers, explore new markets and defend competition.

Organisations are looking at ways to tap into the knowledge base of every employee, it is more often about co-operation and collaboration inside the business that drives innovation.

According to a global study by IBM, today's CIO spends an average of 55 per cent of his/her time on activities that spur innovation.

Today, we need more innovators than any time before due to increased competition, economic conditions, the impact of globalisation, migration, technological and knowledge revolutions, and climate change issues.

When it comes to problem-solving or solution building, your employees are your most valuable asset: after all, they are the closest to the work &most likely to see opportunities for innovative solutions regarding improving customer service, reducing costs, or increasing efficiency however amid so many e-mails, verbal conversations, and IMs, it can be easy to lose great ideas.

To grow the best ideas, you have to discuss, refine, and ultimately vote on where your innovative energies will be spent. A well designed ideation platform like MangoApps can help empower anyone to submit an idea, everyone to comment and refine an idea, and holds the decision makers accountable for acting on ideas until they are implemented or deferred.

In the following pages, you can read more about the few best practices to tap into the collective intelligence of your idea factory (employees).

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh


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1. Introduce a space to innovate accessible anywhere, anytime

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You may not have the time to sit around and discuss ideas that lead business innovation.

An Innovation platform creates a space in which employees from across the organisation can exchange ideas, vote, collaborate and contribute to ideas from anywhere anytime since Eureka moments can happen anywhere.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh



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2. Involve everyone

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It's essential to involve employees in ideation not only for their unique perspectives, but also to ensure buy-in throughout the company afterwards.

If your employees aren't telling you that your idea is crazy, then it is likely that it's not a very big idea.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier




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3. Create conversations

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At any company, innovation typically grows from the seeds planted by the senior management and employees work together to make it a reality.

Discussions about ideas should be open conversations.

Everyone has to be on the same page, especially when it comes to understanding the competitive environment.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier




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4. Do not push employees, pull them in

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Employees need to be explained the importance of ideation, the potential they have to benefit the organisation, its customers, or broader business goals.

Employees need to be motivated about participating through rewards and recognitions.

They can't be forced to reveal their thoughts or be imaginative however they can be pulled into the ideation process by making it transparent and more meaningful.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh





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5. Run idea campaigns

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Idea campaigns are a proven way to capture hundreds of ideas to improve productivity, cut costs and drive improvements from the bottom up in a short time period.

It is desirable to invite the widest range of participants possible.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier




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6. Promote

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It is desirable to invite the widest range of participants possible.

The more diverse the participants, the more diverse and creative the ideas you receive during your ideas campaign.

Promote the ideacampaigns to as many eligible participants as possible. This could be within your enterprise social network via e-mail, via announcements, links etc.

Remember, if people do not know about your ideas campaign, they will not participate.


Photographs: Rediff Archives
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7. Build teamwork and employee engagement

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Collaborative efforts between management and employees can help minimise down time researching on an idea, it can improve the dissemination of knowledge between experts and your entire network.

It can also help build stronger relationships with employees by giving their ideas visibility through leader boards, encourage peer-to-peer awards for good work and see productivity increase across your organisation.

It is the receptive atmosphere that allows ideas to become improvement realities.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh


Photographs: Rediff Archives

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8. Senior management support

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Employees need to understand how their ideas can contribute to the organisation's success.

This means that they have to believe in its overall purpose and values and also will be given suitable resources and backing if they are working on new ideas.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier





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9. Transparency

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Transparency and honesty are the key to create a culture of innovation.

It's important that employees understand what each other are working on and feel able to share knowledge and ideas and give constructive feedback.

Using social collaboration platforms can be helpful in this context in order to provide employees with a platform to share innovative ideas that would otherwise go unnoticed.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier





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10. Rewards and recognition for innovation

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Happy Employees = Happy Clients = Happy Profit.

Therefore developing and maintaining an effective reward and recognition system is a key aspect of maintaining and encouraging innovation.

Employee rewards and recognition system is not just a positive thing to do with employees but communicating it effectively is an efficient tool in encouraging them to ideate.

You hired the people who work for you because of their talent and skills -- and today is the day to start putting all of that talent to use in new and innovative ways.

Start now and you will be well on your way to taking your organisation to the next level.

If your business does not already have in place a platform to encourage and reward new ideas, signing up for a collaboration software might prove prudent.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier





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