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Organizing for Innovation & Implementation

Instructor: Joseph Madison

Joseph received his Doctorate from UMUC in Management. He retired from the Army after 23 years of service, working in intelligence, behavioral health, and entertainment.

This lesson will discuss management's role in the process of organizing for innovation and continuous process improvement. It will also explain the steps a manager can take to ensure a smoother transition in innovation and implementation.

Innovation in Your Organization

James, a manager at Tech For You & Me Inc., created a new innovative way for his employees to work together. Although they have their offices, he also brought in a large conference table and comfortable chairs to encourage the team to work together. He made sure there were plug-ins so that his team could at any time unhook their laptop in their office and move to the conference table. He believed this environment would make his team more cohesive, as well as promote new ideas.

Some of his team have started to use this new set up, and others have not. The three employees that utilize the table have begun to stick together in the office, while the rest have become even more standoffish than before. Unfortunately, this innovation backfired because James had not prepared and organized for potential issues.

In this highly competitive business market, innovations can be the one thing that sets your company apart. An innovation is a new idea, process, or product. Innovations can make your processes quicker, or your products and services more exciting. The struggle with innovations is to keep them adapting, relevant, and used by your employees. The most unique and astounding innovation means nothing if your workforce does not use it.

Planning and Organizing

No matter whether you are creating service or technical innovations, there are a few steps that will help you plan and organize for the implementation of your innovation. Planning will allow you to combat resistance, foresee obstacles, and strategize for consistency in the future. As a manager, it is your responsibility to help lead and inspire your employees to use innovations created by your company. Here are some steps to follow in order to organize and plan for the future innovation implementation.

Assess Your Workforce

When looking at a future innovation, you should analyze your employees to understand how they may use or not use the new idea or product. Perhaps customer service will use a new chat feature to communicate with consumers, but quality assurance won't. It's important to keep this in mind.

Communicate

As early as possible, it is essential to communicate with your team about the new innovation. This gives you the time to sit down and listen to concerns or create excitement. The more open dialog you have, the easier the transition will be.

Organize Trial Runs

If possible, allow your workforce to experience or use the new innovation. If you and your team get the chance to try out a new product, jump at it. The more you know, the easier it will be for you and your team to integrate it into your daily routine.

Create an Innovative Environment

If all employees within an organization feel empowered to create and invent new ideas, then your environment transforms into one that accepts and encourages innovation. This, in turn, will help your employees to consistently accept and use new innovations with less resistance.

Educate

If there are large innovations being implemented, then continuing education may be necessary. Perhaps your team needs training on new technology or processes. In any case, this will help take the mystery out of the transition.

Implementation and the Future

Now that you are organized and set up for the implementation process, it is important not to forget that innovations will need consistent reinforcement. Much like James' story above, if his team was consistently persuaded to use the large communal table for work, then the whole team would be more cohesive, instead of a select few. Here are some other steps to take to improve implementation success.

Evaluate Employee Morale

If the innovative idea implemented largely affected your employees, it will be vital to check how they are working and how they feel. This is a good time to create encouragement and continued excitement about the possibilities of this change.

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