Today, you’re either innovating or you’re falling behind. 97% of CEOs label innovation as a “top priority” for their company. The best companies are the ones that continue to innovate and have HR departments scouring the globe in a never-ending search for the most creative talent available.
The problem is, internal innovation programs are hard to implement, which is why few do so successfully. Below are three common pitfalls of companies trying to accelerate employee innovation, along with some examples of those that do it right.
1. Designating “innovation time”
You’ve heard about Google giving days off to employees to work on side projects and Quicken Loans’ “BulletTime” initiative. You’ve also seen reports of 3M allowing employees to take hours at a time to work on their own projects. So you decide to implement something similar at your company and are disappointed when no one comes back with the next Gmail. (read more…)
Ed Marx is the senior vice president and chief information officer at Texas Health Resources in Arlington, Texas. His career in the health care industry spans 24 years, 16 of which have been spent as CIO. Prior to joining Texas Health in 2007, Marx was CIO of University Hospitals Health System of Cleveland. He previously served in a variety of IT leadership roles with health care organizations such as HCA (Tennessee), Parkview Episcopal Medical Center (Colorado) and Poudre Valley Health System (Colorado). Concurrent with his career in health care, he served 15 years in the Army Reserve, first as a combat medic and then as a combat engineer officer.
Congratulations on receiving the John E. Gall Jr. CIO of the Year Award. This award is given for innovative use of technology in health care organizations. What is the most innovative way you have employed technology at Texas Health Resources?
I am profoundly honored and humbled by the award. (read more…)
As the leader of your team you have many roles, including coach, referee, teacher and boss. Being comfortable in multiple hats is a cornerstone of your position.
One thing you can’t be in such a position is an avoider. When a problem pops up that your team is eager to ignore, you have to be the one to rally the group together and get things done. Read on for more on how to take charge, get the ball moving and problem-solve together as an eager, effective team.
Face the demon
People tend to get overwhelmed by problems, and that’s why they ignore them, Others underwhelm a problem and use Band-Aid approaches to “fix” it. As a leader, neither of these responses is a viable option.
When facing a problem seems too much to deal with there is only one thing to do: deal with it. Admitting there is a difficult problem is the first necessary step. (read more…)
I love automation. I love the productivity it brings. I love working smarter, not harder. I even founded a company all about automation. However, there’s a trend of trying to let automation take over what should be human interaction; this is a disease, and I am not a fan.
There are a few areas where automation makes sense:
- Back-office tasks: Whether it’s automating the creation of follow-up tasks for new customers or setting up a new consulting project, there are plenty of ways to automate.
- Internal reminders: Automation is great for setting up reminders for recurring tasks within a company. For example, if you host a periodic Google Hangout, have your bot post a message to Campfire 15 minutes prior to the meeting so people know they need to wrap up what they’re doing and jump into the hangout.
- Research: Companies need to know when they, or their competitors, are mentioned online.
Back in 2006 when Apple was developing the iPhone, Steve Jobs decided that while the original plan was for the iPhone to have a plastic screen, like the iPod, it would feel much more elegant and substantive if the screen was glass. He set about finding a glass that would be strong and resistant to scratches. This led to a meeting with Wendell Weeks, the CEO of Corning Glass.
Jobs described the type of glass required, and Weeks indicated they had developed such a glass, called Gorilla Glass, back in the 1960s, but there was no demand, so Corning quit making it. After realizing just how scratch-resistant it really was, Jobs decided to use it for the iPhone, and said he needed a large amount of the glass within six months. Weeks said that was not possible, since no Corning factory was making the glass and none was equipped to make it. (read more…)