The Benefit of an Innovative Events Workplace
We all have great ideas. From a very young age, we are pushed to think creatively and consider things from our own personal, unique perspective. It seems as though this “free-thinking” is all but abandoned as we get older. We’re encouraged to question everything up until- well, we’re not supposed to question anything.
Entering the workplace is a challenge all its own and it's easy to loose track of the benefits our entire company may recieve by promoting innovation within staff. We’re to become the perfect candidate that meets a set of given expectations put forth by our employers. We all know that these expectations are a result of years of experience and standardization, and we can all make an assumption as to what would happen when we question those standards...(see image below for elaboration)
It’s up to management to consider the opportunities that could be missed by ignoring or declining the amount of due diligence that an idea may need to come into a stronger consideration. It will do us well to remember that without innovation and outside thinking; we would be living in an alternate universe. Generating an idea is the easy part, making it become a reality is where the true challenge lies.
INNOVATION IS A MUST
Remember how in a few short years, we went from renting movies at the local rental store to waiting at the mailbox for our next DVD delivery? This was followed shortly thereafter by streaming movies directly on our desktops. Now, we can watch sports in real-time and tune into the latest GoT just about anywhere we please. The entertainment industry has evolved a significant amount in just a few short years, and those who were willing to adapt to the changing landscape are likely still around today, although maybe as a different offering than they were initially.
Blockbuster used to be an entertainment giant. It wasn’t long after the Blockbuster moved into my neighborhood growing up that the Movie Palace and Video Galaxy were forced to close their doors. But with that being said, where is Blockbuster now? I’m sure somewhere within the Blockbuster employee base, someone saw the advancements of the industry coming and attempted (or had at least personally conceived) an idea of how to compete. Or you can ask the CEO, who passed up purchasing Netflix for $50 million in 2000 citing that “on-demand” and “streaming” features were only for a small niche market. They could have been the predecessors to Netflix or Redbox but without the willingness to embrace that “crazy” idea that one guy had, they are now a nostalgic memory.
EVENT INDUSTRY INNOVATION
The task of keeping up with the tech advancements of the industry is a monumental challenge. If you consider the events industry as a whole, it seems that nearly every market evolution has an impact on what we do. Venues must adapt to the demands of internet offerings and technology advancements like TV’s and presentation hardware (among many other things). Event planners have to evaluate the usage and implementation of the target audience with social media and mobile apps; they have to anticipate the trends for food and services, etc. It is because of these rapid-fire changes that we as event industry leaders have to be prepared to consider and make changes no matter the source.
It’s important to regularly evaluate the needs and the tools that are provided to our event staff to ensure they can efficiently do their jobs. Utilize their input as the true source that they are. After all, they are the ones using the processes that are put in place. The job must be completed but don’t undermine those who may think of completing the task using an alternate method; they could be on the edge of something that could benefit the entire company.
Today’s workforce is not as innovative as it needs to be. This is attributed to the fact that the workforce is trained to do the task presented but not stray off the given course. Just because something has been done the same way for years and it works, doesn’t mean that it is the most effective way to complete the task. Since ideas correlate with innovation, ideas need to be nurtured and grown within each employee, because you never know what idea could be the next “big thing.”
Although it may be difficult to consider every idea or concept that may be presented to you, don’t underestimate the valuable source in your other team members. By having a process in place that allows individuals a path to making their ideas a reality, you can rely on others (and likely those who would be facilitating and using the new idea) to filter out those that need to be strongly considered and those that may never work.
HOW TO TURN IDEAS INTO REALITY
Create an atmosphere within your company that supports innovation! At the beginning of the year, Ungerboeck hosted its first ever Hackathon- a way specifically for our developers to bring their ideas to life. Some of the ideas that were presented are now sellable products; our team saw a need where others might not of and they came up with the solution.
Use the following tips to ensure that your teams have an avenue for turning their ideas into a reality.
Confidence and Courage
Many people have great ideas that they don’t share or communicate with others. An idea cannot develop into a reality unless the idea generator has confidence in the quality and innovativeness of the idea and the courage to share their idea with other employees and management. However, it’s not simply about being able to tell your idea, but you must also be able to marketing and sell your idea to others in order to gain support. You must believe in yourself and your idea before it can ever materialize into a reality.
Create a Team
When an idea is a strong and innovative one, the generator can build a board of advisors within their organization of people who believe in the idea, have experiences to learn from or can help bring the idea to a reality. Recruit a team that believes in your idea and have the skills it takes to help create a reality from the idea. This team can help communicate the idea and the processes necessary to implement the idea into the business, whether it be a business process or product. If your idea is plausible and beneficial, it shouldn’t be too difficult to have colleagues jump on the bandwagon with you.
Search for people within your organization that have the experience to coach and mentor you on your idea. Don’t think that since it is your idea, that you know all the risks, complications, and consequences that can arise. Compile a group of people that understand your idea and can help you plan how to execute it because it is unlikely you will know all the answers and preparations to take.
Don’t Get Too Attached to the Original Idea
As ideas begin to be communicated and shared with other in hopes of implementing the idea into the business, people will share opinions and give advice that may mold the idea into a slightly different idea than you originally envisioned. Don’t be caught off-guard by this with your team; they are there to help you form your idea into an executable plan and this may mean changing some factors of the original idea to better work into the execution. Continually improve the idea as necessary by accepting changes.
Patience with Small Steps
Normally, ideas take a long time to turn into a reality in the workplace. Therefore, people with ideas they want to implement must be patient and understand the work and steps required to succeed. Take small steps and turn them into actionable items or deliverables within a certain time frame. Realize that ideas in the workplace take time to foster due to the daily responsibilities of employees and the time they already use on tasks. Understand that you need to be dedicated and be willing to do some work towards your idea, during your own free time. Connect each step through the process to show your progress in order to keep yourself motivated and committed to your idea.
Support Ideas, Create Innovation
The people who want change aren’t always those who have been with the company for the longest or have the most impressive resume. The people who want change are typically those on the ground floor that are putting all the processes to play. They view things differently and have a deep understanding of customer demands and what is needed to meet those demands. These ideas could lead to revolutionary processes or products with the right amount of support from management and the commitment to seeing these ideas through.
What do you think? Has a staff member presented an idea for a process or product that has changed the way your business is run? Tell us about it!