Everything around us is changing. All of us are trying to navigate substantial changes in a digital world.

We are trying to understand how digital and offline work in tandem. We are trying to pinpoint which digital channels and audiences will best match up with our stated strategies. And we are trying to hone in on how to best optimise all of these efforts, as we look to test ideas and innovate for the future.

Proactively engaging in the digital space requires innovative thinking on behalf of the entire organisation.
Proactively engaging in the digital space requires innovative thinking on behalf of the entire organisation.

So, how best to go about the tricky task of navigating an increasingly digital world?

Harvard Business Review recently profiled a research study analysing 154 public companies and their efforts to facilitate and track innovation idea sharing using a software system called Spigit.

The findings from this study suggest the following environmental factors have the most impact on generating innovation ideas in what is essentially a positive feedback loop:

  • Scale: Sheer number of ideas submitted.
  • Frequency: How much people are using the system to submit ideas.
  • Engagement: How connected people are to the process.
  • Diversity: Ideas are submitted from across the organisation.

I posit that even if your company cannot implement a system like Spigit, you can encourage innovation and create a culture of change by embracing three key guiding principles.

  1. Break down walls: All companies can benefit from employees building connections across their organisations. Break down walls between functional areas, different role types, and locations. On big projects, bring together stakeholders from affected departments so they can proactively discuss project impact and ideas for success.
  2. Identify gaps: Pinpoint those roadblocks preventing teams and individuals from realising their true potential. Then get rid of them. Maybe a process for day-to-day tasks is overly complicated, and there’s a simpler way to get to the same result. Clearing up time spent on the mundane can energise employees to look for other improvements.
  3. Over communicate: Change is sometimes unsettling. Share what you can about upcoming changes, so staff can anticipate and prepare. Allow for some level of crowdsourcing ideas by enabling staff across all levels to contribute ideas. Being able to source ideas from across business areas could have a positive impact both on identifying actionable ideas as well as providing all staff the feeling of being included.

When everything around you is changing, focus on creating a culture where innovation can flourish.