Exploiting your employees’ ideas and knowledge is essential if you truly want to come up with consistent and high quality innovations for your customers.
What makes the difference between one innovation and another
An innovation refers to the image of a spontaneous, impossible to administer and impracticable process. Innovations can embrace multiple forms, whether it comes to bright minded individuals, occidental discoveries or independent results. It is also said that most innovators have secretly worked against the companies they were employed by, only to steal their ideas and practice on them. Spence Silver and Art Fry are some of the most appropriate examples from this point of view. The 3M chemists have have transformed a low cost adhesive into one of the most popular things on the market today – the post it self adhesive notes. In such cases, innovations have went up from the bottom of an idea, with numerous improvements and the will to apply all kinds of ideas. They are referred to as top down innovations.
Executive directors are supposed to act directly and repeatedly by using various knowledge and information. The commercial development of credit cards is yet another powerful example. The first credit card was created in 1958 by one of Bank Of America’s departments. The invention was properly used and made popular by seven bankers from Citibank. They have added conditions, terms and credit limits, as well as various discounts for merchants.
I believe that such a development was not an answer to a market demand. Instead, it was a direct consequence of the knowledge and experience of several bankers. They have managed to understand customers, analyze the market and economical tendencies. A series of important innovations have followed this idea, including automated teller machines (ATM) or online transactions. All in all, this type of innovation is far from the first example – the top down innovation.
- The support offered by the executive management was crucial. Managers have created the perfect environment and have helped developing the new design with continuous support. They have also offered the required impulse to begin this innovation.
- Information and knowledge were the motor of the top down innovation. Exploiting the information and knowledge in a secretive manner is essential for the success of an idea.
How to adopt a top down innovation
Keeping calm is crucial for a good final result, especially if you manage to stay focused on the actual innovation. Besides, a few tips and tricks will help you make wiser decisions.
- Encourage the top management to get directly involved in the innovative process.
- Use your capacity to analyse the market, as well as your group’s experience and knowledge to evaluate innovative ideas.
- Develop an innovative culture within your organization by giving your employees the possibility to discuss and evaluate their ideas. Do not hesitate to reward the innovative ideas.