Developing the ultimate Innovation Workshop

 In Innovation

For the month of October, we have shared and discussed how critical transformation and innovation is in every business. 

Certainly, the pandemic has created some positive innovations in the past year. We have coined the term ‘new normal’  in every situation and issue we have encountered, and have led our customers to see offers, products and services in a different way. 

Businesses that have implemented innovations successfully over the last year have experienced surprising growth and incredible productivity, along with consistent consumer behavior changes. 

According to Microsoft Australia, 82% of business decision-makers say that innovation is now a ‘must’ and is vital to every business, and businesses are also now finding innovation to be easier compared to pre-COVID times. 

So what does that tell us? 

With a proper and solid Innovation Plan, you can maximise the opportunities given to you. The most important purpose of having an innovation strategy is to put together your team’s efforts and ideas into a process and plan that can align your business objectives for future development. 

Here are some steps to running an innovation workshop for your team that will shape your business’ strategy. 

Step 1: Prepare

Ask questions and gather your data beforehand.

Who should be invited for the workshop? What information will help the team generate ideas? What are the challenges we are currently experiencing and how have we overcome them? What does a successful solution look like? 

By preparing a list of questions to ask and topics you’d like to explore, your team will have something to think about and reflect on. The more specific answers you can get, the more creative thinking you will get with your team. The more preparation you do, the better the outcome of the workshop will be.

Step 2: Warm-up

Ideas need to flow freely and quickly.

The reason why you need to engage your people and do a warm-up is to get your team to speak up and feel psychologically safe to share ideas, opinions and ‘outside-the-box’ thinking. 

Share a quick icebreaker that can settle any pre-workshop nerves and spark some preliminary creative thinking.

Step 3: Brainstorm

No idea is a bad idea. 

If you have a specific area, product or service in your business that you want to innovate, one way to get answers is to use the S-C-A-M-P-E-R method. 

This is a list of questions where individual perspectives on dealing with the situation is shared.

S (Substitute) — What can I replace in the appearance, size, or cost of the product or service?

C (Combine) — What can I combine with the product or service to improve it?

A (Adapt) — Can I adapt the product or service to something else, or can I adapt something from other industries?

M (Magnify/Minimise/Modify) — What can I magnify, minimise or modify in the product or services we offer?

P (Put to other use) — Can I use the product for something else?

E (Eliminate) — What can I eliminate?

R (Reverse/Rearrange) — Is there anything I can reverse or do in a different order to improve efficiency or productivity?

Step 4: Shortlist

Narrow down the list of 100 ideas to around 10-15 of the best.

Having too many ideas is great, but can also be overwhelming. You need to start with a broad lense before refining thoughts.

Start with a broad scope and a ‘no idea is too small to not put down’ mentality. 

Refine your ideas with four simple questions in order to see if the ideas you have might be something worth pursuing: 

Need — Is there a customer need?

Greed — Can this idea be profitable?

Succeed — Do we have the capability to deliver?

Speed — How fast can we get to market?

Not all ideas may fit the four criterias, but it’s easier to see what their strengths and weaknesses are. It’s easier to sort and plan which you will get on with first and which ideas need more work and refining.

Step 5: Vote

Have your team vote for their favourite ideas by placing one star or a check next to each idea they like.

In the implementation phase, the people who agree to the idea will often be the ones to make it happen and help you progress them in your business. Let your team vote for their top three ideas and from there you can plan the next action to take. 

Step 6: Action

Projects are only as good as the action plans you put in place for them. 

Who’s going to own it and be part of the delivery?

When will it be rolled out?

How much will it cost?

What strategy will you execute?

Do you require technologies to successfully roll it out?

Is it testable, quick and cheap?

Introducing new concepts for your business takes more than just strategy. You must also consider the budget, risks and applications you will use for them. 

Some businesses may skip these points when they start planning a transformation which can potentially impact the timeline you have to implement.

Now that you have an overview on how to develop your innovative workshop plan for your team, you have to identify the goals you would want your business to have for the years to come. 

 

Do you want to learn how to be more innovative, grow your business and take responsibility for your outcomes and success? The 90 Day Culture Accelerator guides you through a 12 step process to define your vision, attract rockstar talent, manage and lead with confidence, and grow your business profitably. 

Visit www.90dca.com.au to find out more. 

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Paulette Kolarz

Customer Support

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