“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” Albert Einstein.May 06, 2015
Funny thing about creativity and innovation, it doesn’t usually happen unless you change the way you’ve been working.
Sometimes that means stopping and not working on the problem. Sometimes it means throwing out assumptions. Sometimes it means redefining the problem.
And sometimes it means you need to change the people working on the problem.
As businesses face increasing competition, faster rates of industry innovation and industry turmoil from disruptive players, they need to learn to innovate. And fast.
Employee engagement is a unique way of solving business problems.
It hands the business problems over to staff. Using an independent facilitator, who doesn’t have internal allegiances, staff help identify the problems in a business that need to be solved, work creatively to develop solutions, and then often take ownership for driving the change. Executives are not in the room. And in some cases they don’t get sign off. They trust in and empower their staff, within intelligently and responsibly defined parameters.
We’ve experienced first hand how giving employees decision-making power can excite staff.
They forget to focus on the problems. They let go of “the same thinking we used to create” the problems, and instead, they innovate.
Some of the suggestions from staff have been
- Changes to recording data and information that have improved efficiencies and created genuine cost savings
- Much more stringent penalties for underperforming staff and contractors
- Embraced change and proposed organisational structures
- Integration of new technology that reduces travel time and improves speed of servicing
- Developed strategic plans which reflect goals that executives were too nervous to propose (they confessed later)
- Streamlined training programs linked to business needs and personal needs
- Creation of new products and services to improve competitiveness
- Identified emerging market segments