Innovation is Everyone's Job

Why are so many companies struggling to innovate today? This Harvard Business Review blog entry by Ron Ashkenas attempts to inform managers of the importance of having every employee in a working to innovate. Ashkenas believes, "organizations require innovation on all fronts." This means moving outside simply innovating the main product. To do this, he believes firms need to have all their employees, including sales, supply chain, packaging, etc., seek new ways to innovate on their processes.
This is crowd-sourcing the employees for innovations in the company. Shouldn't employees already be doing this? The problem appears to be that firms only encourage engineers and scientists to innovate, leaving other employees to follow their normal methods.
To solve this problem, Ashkenas recommends three steps for building a culture of innovation:
1) Identify and implement an innovation in your area
2) Once employees have confidence that they can innovate incrementally, work together to identify a more ambitions innovation.
3) Make an atmosphere that encourages people to develop and experiment with new ideas
By successfully completing these three steps, a manager can crowd-source their employees for innovations just as many user innovation companies would source from their customers.


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