Creating and encouraging an environment where people feel that new ideas are welcome and wanted is crucial to Unique World’s innovation process. We know that Innovation thrives in a culture that is not afraid of taking risks, promotes experimentation and rewards off the wall thinking.
In order to have innovation accepted throughout Unique World we have tried to encourage everyone to take part in it. We also acknowledge that it needs to be a continual process that is itself tweaked and reviewed at regular intervals.
At Unique World we have not limited the innovation process to only be looking at opportunities that we can take to market. But the process is also free to drive improvements in core business processes or to suggest way to make us do something differently (and hopefully better). A great resource I stumbled across recently was the innovation check list written by Joanne Pimlott, Founding Director of the Education Centre for Innovation and Commercialisation and Academic Director of the Master of Entrepreneurship at The University of Adelaide. Innovation checklist: making innovation affordable and do-able
- Do you take time to identify training needs for current and future needs?
- What publications, people, events and so on do you need to access?
- What incentives will you provide for people to undertake training to maintain and update their knowledge and skills?
- Are ideas and suggestions actively sought by management? What happens to those ideas and suggestions? (Follow up is essential)
- What motivates your people to be creative, experimental (where appropriate) and innovative in their thinking?
- Do you understand what motivates each individual in your business? (What assumptions do you make in this area?)
- Is innovation likely to occur because of or in spite of your business culture, structure and management style?
- How readily do people in your workplace accept change?
- Does your business have a risk management strategy?
It is certainly my view that virtually any SME should be able to follow Joanne’s simple checklist and start to implement simple and affordable innovation programs quite quickly. Certainly the Unique World experence so far is that it can really change the way you think and run your business.