How ‘fun’ motivates and helps innovation It doesn’t matter what market you are in; all businesses want to be more innovative. In fact, according to a PwC Pulse Survey of 246 CEOs in North & South America, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Europe found that 97% of CEOs consider innovation to be one of the biggest priorities for their business*. Why? Because innovation has been identified as a crucial factor for business growth and wealth creation.
What is innovation?
Innovation and creativity often get mixed up. Let’s just clarify this now. Creativity is the generation of new ideas. Innovation takes this a step further in that it requires taking an idea, putting it into practise and seeing it through to the point that it creates value for your business. It is not just limited to the creation of new or improved products either. It is possible to innovate across all areas of your business including:
It isn’t necessary to have a department for innovation either. The best people to come up with and implement new ideas and improvements are the people that do the job every day and as such, innovation is the responsibility of everyone in the organization, regardless of their position. However, that doesn’t mean that it comes naturally to everyone and it us up to owners, directors and senior leaders to drive innovation by creating a culture in which every employee is encouraged and empowered to take the initiative, get creative and put their ideas forward.
An innovative culture
Innovation relies on a cycle: happy employees are more motivated, more motivation leads to greater innovation, greater innovation leads to better results and better results impact positively on employees, making them happy again. [optin-monster-shortcode id="fjdxrzpbpm4zayymauhb"] However, the key to the whole cycle is happy employees, and the business culture mentioned above is crucial to creating and maintaining an environment that your staff want to come to work in. That is where Agile comes in. Agile is a series of philosophies and methodologies that focus on the development of epic teams and teamwork in order to produce enhanced results. In a nutshell, exactly what you need to drive innovation within your business. A large element of Agile is addressing business culture and environment, which should be at the foundation of your company, in order to make sure that employees feel heard, valued and respected, and want to perform well. One of the easiest ways that your organization can do this is by making sure that your business embraces fun.
Putting the ‘fun’ back into your day to day functions
‘Fun’ is not a term that is usually heard when it comes to business, but it could – and should – be! We aren’t talking about sack races around the accounting department (although perhaps it’s not a bad idea for a company picnic!), but interjecting incentives, rewards and positivity throughout your tasks, in order to build a working environment that employees enjoy being in. Whether it is celebrating big things or enjoying little things, businesses that encourage play and fun are the ones where people do their best work. Look at your company from an outside perspective, or even better, bring someone in to appraise your business environment. Spending just a few hours in your offices should be enough for someone to decide whether your business is one that they would like to work in. Here are three ways to put the ‘fun’ back in your organization’s day to day functions.
Recognize milestones and achievements
Inject some feel-good vibes into your staff by celebrating milestones and achievements. Whether it is a milestone of employment (passing probation, 1yr, 5yrs etc) a pitch win, project completion or even a staff birthday, recognizing and celebrating them is a huge motivator and boost to staff morale.
Make meetings staff can look forward to
Meetings are a necessary part of any business. Agile meetings are always valuable and ensure that everyone is actively involved and engaged. However, you can ramp up that engagement and make meetings the place to be by making them an opportunity for a team lunch, taking turns to bring in cake or holding a food theme each week. Ask your teams what would make meetings more fun for them, and run with it.
Be a good sport
Not everyone is into sport, but if your organization has a large number of sporting fans then there are some easy ways to help sprinkle a little fun into your work environment. Fantasy football is an easy way to bring workers together, encourage team spirit and create a great atmosphere in your office. Best of all, it won’t cost your business a penny!
Even if you have the best talent and technology in your field, without the right environment and culture, quality innovation will fail to materialize. Agile supports businesses in getting these foundation elements correct, so that you can build a strong, successful organization that is capable of rapid innovation, in order to keep pace with the demand and competition that drives the necessity for it.
About our guest writer
I am an Agile coach with a passion to help teams to collaborate, strategize, cooperate and to deliver solutions that are in direct support of strategic initiatives. An agile transition is all about people and interactions and that is my concentration. I apply gamification, and proven techniques to motivate teams. Through these techniques I support teams to drive specific behaviors that contribute towards more effective, productive and harmonious working relationships regardless of the methodology or framework used.
Retrospective Games Retrospectives an are important part of effective Agile practice. Many teams who are new to Agile may well have been taught the theory behind retrospectives, but putting them into practice can be an entirely different matter...
One of the biggest challenges faced by distributed teams is the one of team bonding. When your teams are co-located finding opportunities for them to get to know one another is relatively straightforward.