Digital Transformation Today

Promoting Innovation In The Digital Workplace: Where Should You Start?

Instead of relying on executive mandates to improve your company’s effectiveness and efficiency, focus on growing a culture of innovation and harnessing the digital workplace. Saying “let’s be more innovative” is a long way from making it happen. But embracing the digital workplace helps companies keep employees engaged in their work while still getting people excited about and contributing to larger innovative efforts.

The term “culture” is quite broad; it may mean something different to just about everyone. One aspect of workplace culture, however, is unambiguous: If executives want to promote innovation, they need to lead by example. The top leadership must participate in the culture they want to foster, making it an integral part of who they are and what they do in the organization. When executives don’t participate in the culture they ask for, it’s obvious to everyone in the organization.

Here are three questions to guide organizations as they promote a culture of innovation within the digital workplace.

  1. What does innovation mean in your organization? Like “culture,” what we mean by “innovation” is often nebulous. In general, we could say that that innovation is the process of bringing up new ideas, methods and plans for the company to make money. But defining innovation may be different for service organizations, for example, as opposed to manufacturing companies.That’s one of the reasons why organizations should take the necessary time to consider and define what innovation means, and develop goals within this context. A service organization, for example, might choose to think of innovation in terms of releasing new service offerings each year, and set goals for the number and frequency of these service offerings.
  2. What goals and actions support a culture of innovation? After defining innovation, think about how to best support the idea of innovation as an integral part of work, from a company-wide perspective down to individual employees. On the one hand, no company wants their employees to feel distracted by conversations around innovation. It has to be part of the culture that it’s OK to spend a specific amount of time on the broader aspects of the organization.Instead of the short-term agenda of “bill, baby, bill,” encourage employees to set aside time for creative interaction. These efforts not only connect people to each other, but also to new information. Bringing new visibility to individuals and ideas throughout the organization makes a gigantic difference in a company’s innovation.
  3. What tools support those goals and actions? Next, identify the tools you’ll need to broaden internal communications and facilitate organic, innovative partnerships within the digital workplace. A collaboration platform provides key structures and functions to help your company culture grow. For example, you might be trying to encourage people to share updates and good reading material within their teams. A collaboration platform provides the newsfeed mechanisms for getting the full benefit of sharing useful content across the organization.

In the end, pursuing innovation requires organizations to define their terms, goals and tools, and leverage the capabilities of the digital workplace to foster a culture of innovation. Having a great idea in the middle of the night is one thing. But if you capture this idea and share it, inviting your colleagues to chime in and add to it, you’re able to see very quickly whether the idea could save money or make money for the organization.

Learn more about helping your organization leverage today’s digital workplace capabilities by contacting Portal Solutions.

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