For an organisation to evolve and thrive, it must continuously generate and embrace new ideas. Sticking to what you already know could work for a while. However, the competition will eventually overtake your organisation and probably lead your company into stagnation.
To understand the importance of embracing new ideas, think about Arthur Fry and Dr Spencer Silver. In 1968, whilst looking to create a super-strong adhesive for 3M, Dr Spencer mistakenly developed a low-tack pressure-sensitive adhesive. It wasn’t until 1974, whilst Arthur Fry was attending one of Dr Spencer’s seminars, that the idea to use it to anchor his bookmark in his hymn book led to one of the greatest inventions of our time. The Post-it note.
Today, this product generates about $1 billion annual revenue for the company. What’s more, both Fry and Silver came up with this a billion-dollar idea without direction from their management. They developed it during their off time (what’s referred to as permitted bootlegging at 3M), spending 10 to 15 percent of their work time pursuing products that interested them personally.
3M’s permitted bootlegging program is very much like Google’s 20% rule. They use this time to explore new ideas or projects, embrace new ideas, or innovate techniques and tools. With encouragement and freedom, most workers at these organisations come up with new products (like Gmail) or contribute improvements to the organisation’s product or service offerings.
Why Embracing New Ideas is Now More Important Than Ever
Where do new ideas come from?
If Fry and Dr Silver never had the opportunity or time to come up with the Post-it notes (idea) and pursue it, the product would not have become what it is today, or wouldn’t have been developed by 3M. The reality is that embracing new ideas matter, and so does your business’s ability to achieve sustainable growth.
Ideas and quick flashes of inspiration about how a specific product or service should be are often the basis for most successful services and products. However, many organisations rarely create an environment to foster a culture of idea generation. Instead, they prefer a workplace environment that treats day-to-day duties like an assembly line, with every employee playing their minor role in creating a finished product.
Improve employee engagement
Improve productivity and retain talent by engaging your employees in ideation today!
Your employees cannot be creative in this type of work environment. Their day to day tasks (particularly repetitive ones) prevent them from coming up with and embracing new ideas. So, this leaves it up to management alone to steer the business to success and to come up with every novel idea and solution to existing problems themselves.
Your workforce has an in-depth understanding of your organisation and the values it stands for. Indeed, your employees have the potential to be innovative if only you can encourage them to do so. If your organisation has not unlocked this potential, the chances are that you’re wasting critical human resources.
Why embrace new ideas?
Many Ideas generated are likely to impact different processes, products, marketing channels, and distribution chains. So it is important to be open and transparent before implementing any solutions.
Here are some reasons your organisation should start embracing new ideas.
1. Continuous improvement
New ideas and innovation give your business sustainability when you’re making continuous improvements, repacking, or rebranding. Any entrepreneur or manager will recognise the need to embrace new ideas and understand how to encourage their workforce to be creative and innovative.
2. Creating brand awareness
Brand development is common in organisational leadership. It is a process that reveals vital information to help management to learn new and more effective ways to be innovative. As a result, it is recognised as one of the critical drivers for business success. And one of the most effective ways of being innovative is by generating and embracing new, actionable ideas.
3. Responding to trends and competition
Organisations that are successful usually respond to the current needs of their customers and also predict future trends. It is through effective idea generation and implementation that these organisations come up with exciting products to meet consumer demand and outpace the competition.
4. Making the most out of what you already have
Ideas are not all about creating new products or services. It’s also about improving your current products and operational efficiency. Your company needs to attract new customers, maximise the use of resources, increase profits, and more. To achieve these positive changes, you need new, creative ideas. Your employees are a great source of great ideas which is why creating a company culture that values and embraces new ideas is critical today.