In this blog post, we discover the best innovation at work examples.
What Is Innovation?
Innovation is the process of bringing new products or services to the market, or of new ideas or concepts.
Innovation is not something that only occurs in startups. It’s a process present in any size company. However, in order to drive innovation, companies need to make sure they foster creativity. By encouraging employees to explore new ideas and new ways of doing business.
What is innovation in the workplace?
Innovation is defined as the process of making changes to something established. Often it happens when someone sees a need and has the ability to create a solution.
It is not always easy for employees to take on new ideas and innovate. At times, they might feel like they are not seen as an innovator. This is because they haven't had success with their innovations in the past. But it's important to remember that innovation can come from anyone who has an idea and an innovative spirit.
Types of innovation in the workplace
There are several different types of innovation that can be used in the workplace. These include:
- Technological innovation. Which includes innovations in the form of new equipment, tools, and processes.
- Business model innovation. Which includes innovations in the form of new or altered methods for creating or delivering products or services.
- Process innovation. This includes innovations in the form of new ways to organise work and produce goods and services.
- Service innovation. This includes innovations in the form of new relationships between buyer and seller.
- Marketing innovations. This includes innovative promotional campaigns or product packaging.
- New business models. This includes crowdfunding campaigns. Or businesses that utilise value networks to connect buyers with sellers whom they would not otherwise have found on their own.
How To Encourage Innovation in the Workplace?
Innovation can be a difficult undertaking because it starts with an idea that needs to be developed into a product or service. It requires creativity and persistence for this to happen - two qualities that are often in short supply these days.
Likewise, innovation is the key to success in any business. While a challenge, there are many ways to encourage innovation in the workplace.
The challenge is to balance creativity with productivity. The following are some ways that allow people to innovate at work without jeopardising the company’s goals.
Providing an outlet for creativity
The best way to achieve innovation is by making time for it at work.
Innovation is not something that needs to take place only on weekends or during lunch breaks. It should become a part of our daily routines.
Companies should encourage this with brainstorming spaces for new ideas or solutions. Allowing employees to use their creative skills for something other than their assigned tasks.
Beverage company Pernod Ricard encourages a small division within his company to explore new ideas. His team, “The Breakthrough Innovation Group”, uses a Silicon Valley spirit to experience new ideas for the larger company.
Real risk-taking is best done by embracing failure. By encouraging people to take risks and learn from mistakes. It also includes not punishing failures too harshly. Employees should be encouraged to experiment with new ideas on their own time before implementing them company-wide.
However, proceed with caution! For risk-taking to not ruin the business there need to be the right internal structures in place to succeed.
One way to do this is to keep the risk for innovation small. A great example of this is Tesla. They keep small teams with entrepreneurial encouragement. They’re far more able to take risk with a small team than a large team.
Designing the workflow for innovation
Working with teams can be difficult. It is important to identify the different types of people on your team and find out their strengths and weaknesses. Collaborating is key, and will allow for better communication and more efficient work.
How do you demonstrate innovation at work?
One of the most common ways to demonstrate innovation is to solve a problem with an innovative solution. This allows others in the organization to understand what’s happening and why it's important for them to help generate new ideas. It also helps them understand how they can contribute with their own ideas in order to make innovation happen.
Innovation at work examples
Below we go through some of the most well-known innovation at work examples. We try to cover each of the categories of innovation.
organisational innovation at work examples
The Japanese Microsoft office innovatively decided to look at their employees achieving the same results in less time. Thus, they increased productivity by 40% by adopting a four-day week working schedule. In addition to this, they also used 23% less electricity.
product innovation at work examples
Lego has made a product innovation to change the material of its bricks to biodegradable oil-based plastics. This is because the NPD market research group found 47% of Christmas shoppers chose not to buy toys with sustainability concerns.
marketing innovation at work examples
Luxury ice cream brand Haagen Daz is driving its marketing innovation to produce 100% recyclable, reuseable, zero waste packaging containers.
process innovation at work examples
Baking company Grupo Bimbo had a mobile sales dashboard built for them. With over 65 manufacturing plants and 2.5 million sales centres across 3 continents and 22 countries travel was a huge cost. With the introduction of the mobile dashboard, the executive team could get quick access to KPI’s and sales information. Drastically reducing meeting time, guesswork and scheduling issues.
service innovation at work examples
Through the AmazonSmile Program, 0.5% of all purchases go to the charity of the customer's choice. So customers can make charitable donations automatically every time they purchase.
technological innovation at work examples
P&G worked with Amazon to be now known as one of the most successful technological innovations.
Through Amazon's Dash button system, a consumer can automatically order new Tide Pods. By pressing the dash button attached to their washing machine, they receive a new order in a matter of days. No computer or credit card is needed!
Encouraging Innovation at work examples
Innovation and Hiring
Innovation in a company is a crucial task that can lead to success in the future. Some companies use innovations in order to stand out from their competitors.
How to identify an innovative candidate
Innovation is a key element in any successful business. it is the responsibility of the HR team to identify candidates with innovative skills to propel the business forward.
Innovative thinking is creative thoughts that are novel, ingenious, and original. Used to solve problems in novel ways.
The people who have these traits see opportunities where others see problems. They innovate to improve the status quo and take the time to explore the possibilities of different solutions.
When looking for innovative candidates, it is important to evaluate their track record. Identify how they reach new ideas, generate new solutions, and execute them successfully.
You should ask candidates questions about their experience of coming up with new ideas or implementing new processes.
How will you prove yourself as an innovative person at work?
Innovation is not just about coming up with something new that has never been seen before. It is also about solving problems in ways that are better than the way they were solved in the past.
We can save time by not reinventing the wheel and instead of finding solutions to our problems in places where they already exist.
We hope you enjoyed our post on Innovation at work examples, for more posts like this check out our past post on: Drive for results interview questions.