Earning quick wins - How to make real change happen

Short-term wins outlined in Kotter’s Step 6 can really boost your innovation efforts by proving that your efforts are paying off. This is where incremental innovation (enabled by online collaboration) can really shine.

Think about it – creating the next Netflix, iPad or Spinbrush can take years. During that time you need short-term wins to celebrate and keep momentum going.

Additionally, if you have your guiding innovation team leading these short-term innovation efforts, communicating results, celebrating progress and removing barriers to implementation, you’re laying the critical foundation to successfully execute your industry’s next big innovation.

Here are a few topics that make for good quick wins in innovation. There are many more:

  • Gather customer pain points from customer-facing employees, innovate to solve the biggest issues
  • Hold a collaborative effort between two business units or “silos” that experience a lot of conflict – focus on resolving the biggest issues by working together in new ways for the benefit of the customer
  • Collaborate around product / service improvements and adjacencies – everyone in your company is a consumer themselves, so everyone can play

Making business owners part of the guiding innovation team is an effective way to get them on board. This also fosters momentum by ensuring innovation isn’t something being forced on leadership; they will believe in the effort if they have a hand in driving it.

Nothing draws people in like success and the opportunity to be a part of a winning team. Some organizations hold a red carpet event for those involved in all areas of innovation; others have fun with an Innovation Idol event modeled from American Idol. There’s really no limit to the potential for celebration around quick wins.

Next in this series: Step 7: Don’t let up

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