Innovation Context - Spring2 Innovation

Innovation Context

February 15, 2012

Content in Innovation is important

Companies are reluctant to provide context to their employees.  Reasons for doings this may include:

  • They do not want to impede innovation;
  • They may not see or fully understand the context themselves;
  • They may want to hold details close to the vest out of fear of leaking information to the public… or worse yet, the competition.

When an employer seeks consulting services they are aware of a challenge and are seeking help; therefore, they put thought into it and have context for it already or have some ideas for context.

There is a perception that the consultant is costly so employers want to use the consultant’s time wisely – more upfront thought is put into the challenges that they put forward. At the same time, consultants are either more empowered to ask questions to obtain the appropriate context or are just better at getting to the context.

Having worked in companies where context was provided, the amount of frustration employees felt as they brought new ideas up for review was greatly reduced. The innovative culture gained momentum.  Employees continued to bring ideas forward and build on them, knowing that they had been able to filter the idea against the context prior to putting it out to be evaluated.

With context, fewer ideas are put forward; and the quality of those ideas is greater. The likelihood that new ideas are built upon by others and that new ideas will move forward are also increased.  This makes selecting ideas to pursue a less onerous task.  Make innovation and idea selection gratifying.  Provide your innovators with some context to work in.