“Success comes from doing things differently”
Change is happening faster and faster, so significant investment in innovation is essential for any modern organisation, enforcing ongoing rapid evolution. And if ever there were an industry that thrives on innovation, then OSS would be it. OSS are the product of the information age and it has yet to be mastered, possibly because of the vast amounts of information it manages as well as the ever-changing nature of the networks and services that it is asked to manage.
So how should you offer incentives for innovation within your organisation? The common approach is to offer large prizes for the best idea (eg a SmartPhone). But it would seem that this is missing the point. Many raindrops make an ocean. The same is true for innovation.
But how do you promote and reward a constant stream of ideas, be it small or large? How do you catch the raindrops that are prevalent in the minds of the staff within your organisation?
The more ideas you encourage, the more ideas you’re going to get. Incentivise broader innovation, giving “points” for all ideas, not just rewarding the best ideas. For example, if there is only one SmartPhone awarded for a competition it allows no opportunity to acknowledge the other many exciting ideas that are worthy of recognition.
The aim is to reward all ideas, not just the big ones. The combination of small ideas can create a competitive advantage, although you need to right people evaluating the ideas to form connections of their own in this case.
Give extra points for implemented or commercialised ideas. Points could be turned into gifts/prizes (just like banking award points or frequent flier programs) in recognition of an individual’s quest to find a better way for the organisation.
Would an organisation that recognised the ideas of its people in such a way also be a more engaging organisation with lower staff churn?