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Innovation: the answer could be right under your nose

In a study reported by Campaign Asia-Pacific, Forrester Research claims disruptive innovation is driven by a culture of customer obsession. We agree that the next big thing can come from your customers – however it also can come from within.

Successful organisations focus on building and sustaining the right culture to support their strategic vision – which for most organisations includes innovation. Forrester identifies four broad organisational cultures. We believe that innovation can come from all of them, but the mechanisms to drive it will be different for each.

Think about the innovation approach your organisation needs. And then think about your organisational culture. Is there a match, or are you lagging behind? There are ways you can change your organisational culture to drive the right innovation for you. This requires a deep understanding of motivations, clear and bold vision, and lashings of time and effort, but it can – and must – be done for a sustainable future.

Forrester also identifies the power of employees to drive innovation projects forward: through listening to what they have to say; encouraging them to experiment; and involving them in innovation meetings and projects. We couldn’t agree more. While customers should be a key source of ideas, so should the people who represent your brand – your employees, and also your franchisees and channel partners.

Market disruption can come from inside as well as outside – Steve Jobs famously believed more in internal creativity than market research. While we believe market research will always have a place, the answer could be right under your nose. This was the case with one of our retail clients, whose franchise partners were feeling demotivated by tough market conditions. Ogilvy Impact facilitated a series of innovation workshops across every state, giving franchisors the time, space and framework to come up with their own solutions. The outcome was inspiration as well as ideas.

So look at unlocking the innovative power of your employees. This is partly about finding where your blockages are. Some organisations need creative coaching to generate ideas from their employees. Others are bursting with ideas, but don’t know how to channel them into something viable. Others suffer from great ideas being blocked by organisational ‘red tape’. So look closely at where ideas get ‘stuck’, to release the power of innovation from within.

Involving your employees in the innovation process has the power to drive new ideas. Is also has the power to generate enthusiasm and engagement, which will drive the cultural change you need.

Want to know more about driving organisational culture change, or unlocking the innovation power of your employees? Contact Ogilvy Impact on +61 2 8281 3222 / info@ogilvyimpact.com.au.