Here are two of my strategies I use to help teams innovate to turn the business around or take it to the next level.
Staff and customers are fantastic sources for ideas on what to improve, yet many businesses don’t tap into these gold mines well.
1. Permission to fail.
When encouraging staff to suggest and try better ways to do things (that are not life threatening or financially crippling), make sure you give them permission to fail.
“Try it, if it doesn’t work, change it or try something else.”
It’s that simple. No big deal. Encourage your team to try new ideas they have.
The culture has to be one of giving permission to try.
I see so many teams frustrated and demotivated because they can’t implement their ideas. It is common to see morale turn 180 as soon as the team feel listened to and able to suggest ideas.
2. Ask customers for suggestions.
The trick here is to appreciate they can have a fixed opinion of what you can do.
They have put you in a ‘box’. Therefore you need to encourage them to think outside the ‘box’.
I will literally say something like, “if anything was possible, what features would you really love to see?”
Encourage them to forget what they believe you can offer, and to talk about what they would really love to have. Sure, some ideas will not be practical, realistic or feasible but in my experience, there is always at least one good idea that helps improve the business.
If they seem a bit stuck for ideas, ask them if there is anything your competitor does really well that they like.