Ready, set and go! Creating a collaborative work environment using technology in a multi-office environment first starts with asking “what’s possible”. Next use an innovative process to work out the details. An innovation process is a bridge between continuous improvement and breakthrough leaps. It uses simple steps to make it easy for your team to feel comfortable when introducing something new.
Innovation is simply taking something that already exists and building upon it. In business, we observe examples of this daily. For example, through process improvement, product modifications and additional service offerings.
Next, gather the facts so you can identify the real issue. In this way you begin to find solutions and opportunities. By stepping away and asking “how can we…”, you open the door to possibilities. Build a team of different perspectives to brainstorm wild, silly and realistic ideas. Select the best idea, generally by giving each member of the team a vote. By this time, you’ve developed critical data in the fact finding and solution finding steps. Next secure a vote from participate to create buy-in with the team. The final step is gaining acceptance, also known as lobbying for your idea. Once accepted, all that is left is to plan and implement the change.
We recently tested this process with a client. The issue was to reduce travel costs and increase the utilization of expensive technology recently purchased. We provided a 5:1 ROI. We achieved this through elimination of travel time and costs while accelerating staff collaboration and business skills knowledge transfer.
In hindsight, this beneficial experiment prepared the team for the forthcoming pandemic. The innovation process is a bridge visual stuck in their mindset.