To instill a culture of innovation, employees should be meaningfully acknowledged and rewarded. So says innovation and digital transformation expert Dr. Oliwia Berdak, Senior Analyst with Forrester. In our recent podcast “Becoming a Digital Innovation Powerhouse,” I had the opportunity to ask her how she advises business leaders dealing with innovation woes. Turns out, making innovation everyone’s business can be so challenging that organizations often give up and isolate innovation-related activities to innovation labs, teams or tasks forces. If you can close it off, you can better control it, right?
Actually, Dr. Berdak warns against this sort of “temporary fix.” She points to proper tools, metrics and rewards as critical pieces to systematizing an innovation ecosystem long term. Roping off innovation responsibilities with little discipline can backfire. “I know of at least one head of innovation at a large retailer,” she says, “who persistently resisted any key performance indicators for his innovation lab. When his firm’s profits tanked, he and his innovation unit were first to be targeted for cost-cutting because he couldn’t demonstrate value.” She advises, “Ultimately you want to instill a culture of innovation. You want to empower employees with the right digital tools and autonomy so they can make the right decisions on their own.”
And to keep employees engaged, organizations should “reward the top contributors so that employees feel like when they submit ideas, this is not another project on top of their day-to-day tasks, but they’re rewarded to pursue something different and that reward is meaningful.”
Tying innovation processes to HR encourages employee engagement and increases job satisfaction by opening up an objective, transparent innovation framework to give a voice to any employee who wishes to make innovative suggestions for process, product or service improvements – even IT requests. The Oracle Cloud is unique in that it offers connected, best practice Innovation Management and Human Capital Management applications. Businesses can link an employee’s innovation contributions from Oracle Innovation Management Cloud – such as ideas submitted, whether ideas were converted to products/services, how often an employee submits successful ideas, etc – with the employee record in Oracle HCM Cloud to acknowledge and reward top contributors.
Spark an innovation conversation at your organization by first listening in on this one: our latest podcast featuring Oracle and leading research and advisory firm Forrester (16:39) or visit www.oracle.com/innovationmanagement.