April 29, 2007

8 ideas to make a culture more innovative

Idea # 1: Use collaborative software, for example a blog
Blogs like this one is just one method to speed up innovation in a company. Why? Because a blog adds flexibility to the way you work. The people who participate on the blog can participate anywhere and anytime. Time and geography becomes less relevant.

Idea # 2: Let people, who are different, work together
Don’t let people with identical competences, identical cultural backgrounds etc. work together. Mix up teams including internet communities, so people get to work with persons who think and act differently than they, themselves, do. That will make people think and act more innovatively.

Idea # 3: Let people, who have the best arguments and show most interest, make decisions
Example: Let the person(s) who, on a blog, comes up with the best arguments and make(s) more comments about the subject than others, decide what to do about the problem.
Here are a couple of alternative collaborative software features for making decisions and getting on with the work: 1. Make a poll where the idea that gets the most votes wins. 2. Let the manager decide what to do.

Idea # 4: Break down the organizational hierarchy
Try making fewer managers responsible for more. These managers will then delegate responsibility to employees and other suppliers who are competent and interested in solving concrete tasks.

Idea # 5: Make physical rooms open so people are invited to share knowledge
Do not only “open up” on the Internet. Open up in the physical shops/offices as well. Try breaking down walls between offices so people can share knowledge more easily with each other and/or use furniture that people can look over and/or through - thereby making the environment more bright, open, and easy for sharing knowledge.

Idea # 6: Loosen up the dress code
Instead of commanding that people wear uniforms at work, let the people decide themselves what they want to wear, i.e. in which situations white shirt and a tie are appropriate, and in which situations a polo t-shirt would be more relevant.

Idea # 7: Let employees buy shares in the company
When people own something, they are interested in development/progress.

Idea # 8: Talk about the present and the future
Example: When you meet other people - physically and/or on the Internet - talk about the idea that you got last night while jogging. Ask them what they think about it. That will speed up innovation.


How do you make the culture of the company / companies, for which you work, more innovative?
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