Innovation is one of the key drivers of any successful business. What can be tricky however, is trying to find ways in which to foster innovation. How exactly do you go about nurturing and growing ideas to make them concrete? More importantly, how can we take these ideas and turn them into real added value to businesses? At Rant & Rave, we are constantly on the lookout for innovation happening within our teams and then ways in which we can amplify these innovations and put them into practice. We champion being “disruptive” – in fact it is one of our core company values. From the start of the recruitment and hiring process, everyone is encouraged to think about things in a slightly different way, challenging the norm. This ethos is encouraged by the senior team who challenge employees to find solutions to everyday problems. Doing this means that we are never complacent – we are always striving to look for new ideas and solutions no matter what the challenge or environment. One of the keys to innovation is to not impose limits, which all too often prevent innovation from blossoming. With innovation at our heart, we recently restarted “Freedom Friday”. This is an incentive on a Friday that allows our team to do some unstructured thinking around business and customer challenges. We allow the team to think creatively and to find solutions in different environments – yes including the pub! We find new ideas can’t come about in an ordinary space, such as a brainstorm within a boardroom. A tangible example of this is our latest integration with Amazon Alexa, which came about from a Freedom Friday session. There are also many other ways to be innovative. Get out to industry events and be curious. Don’t hide yourself within your own four office walls – go out there and be curious in nature. Look at what other businesses are doing better than you. Challenge yourself. Become an avid reader of innovative materials. There is a misconception that to be innovative you must produce innovating products. This simply isn’t the case. When we at Rant & Rave think about innovation, we’re talking about people within our teams who are thinking about problems differently. They can be found across all areas such as support, service and finance. How do we recognise these avid thinkers? It’s usually people who aren’t complacent about problems. Keep an eye out for those who emerge well from challenging situations, and make smart suggestions when there is a block. Fostering and nurturing these people and growing them, as well as putting their ideas into practice, can add real value to any business – and is key to success.
This article is part of a wider campaign called Founders Diaries, a section of Real Business that brings together 20 inspiring business builders to share their stories. Bringing together companies from a wide variety of sectors and geographies, each columnist produces a diary entry each month. Visit the Founders Diaries section to find out more.
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