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Five tips for driving innovation in your organisation

Thursday 23 May 2019 AIData Insight & AnalyticsDigital Transformation

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Ananya Sadera's picture
By Ananya Sadera

Working in a leading digital and technology company and heading client services means I am asked by clients regularly about innovation and ‘what’s next?’

While we hold regularly quarterly business reviews with all key clients, at which innovation is front and centre, the reality is that it’s hard. Technology and consumer behaviour are both changing at an increasing pace; according to a recent Nielson survey:

  • 66%  of consumers think electronic interactions are replacing face-to-face
  • 47% say they’d rather text than talk

Nowhere is this point made more obvious then when I see my four year old getting into arguments (albeit one-sided) with Alexa!

So how do we keep on top of this, how do we inform before being asked and how do we stay up-to-date? Here's my five tips for driving innovation in your organisation.

 

  1. It’s not the role of one person

Although I enjoyed a recent period of intense researching while developing our 3 year growth plans, it nearly finished me off! That’s why we’re asking everyone at CACI to get involved in building idea generation hubs, with no one perspective on innovation dominating the discussion. Much like the Met Gala hosted for the moguls of the fashion world every year, fashion is interpreted in so many different ways, as should innovation.

  1. Make it a fun exercise

The pressure to innovate can result in some strange scenarios with managers demanding innovation from their team. But without a defined end result, a deadline, a reward, how do you make sure that it doesn’t fall to the bottom of the to do list? One option is to introduce an element of friendly competition. At CACI, we’ve launched various challenges where people work on their own, with other team members or with a client, using their resources to respond to a challenging brief. These exercises have always unveiled some fantastic creativity and highlighted the many benefits of people stepping away from the humdrum.

  1. Give people the time

Time, now that’s an interesting one. Working full time, commuting and then starting shift number two as mum when I get home means time is like gold dust. Lack of time is a reality for most in this fast moving world. At CACI, we set up a KPI which is measured monthly, encouraging people to spend 5% of their work hours on innovation. This has led to projects where we worked with IoT data using technologies such as data streaming and microservices to tackle resilience and scalability challenges and found tools which analysed data and used AI to create videos, bringing customer segments to life.

  1. Make sure it is relevant

Now this is a tricky one. On one hand I advocate for the need to be creative, on the other, I have to say that it’s always good to provide some guidelines or framework. While CACI is a marketing services business, working on technology that picks up pieces of Lego from your carpet (clearly a cause close to my heart) might not lead to much success for the company (although I will pay good money to buy such a thing if it exists). 

  1. Bring it to life with real life problems and business cases

So many times have I seen people pitch ideas which are great, are exciting, but it lacks the ‘so what’. What problem is it solving? Does it cut costs or lead to an increase in revenue? If it doesn’t do that, it’s just a shiny new thing that will gather dust and be bumped off the shelf by the next shiny new thing.

Innovation can be anything, a product, a service or a process and it comes from the brain power of many, not just one. Given time, encouragement and a framework, we can get to a point where this bucket is constantly full and we always have answer when asked ‘what’s next?’

 

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Innovation can be anything; a product, a service or a process. Ananya Sadera gives you her five tips for driving innovation which enables her to tell her clients 'what's next?'

Five tips for driving innovation in your organisation

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