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Breaking the Ice on Innovation in Large Organizations October 12, 2020
Design

Breaking the Ice on Innovation in Large Organizations

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Photo of Kimberlee Cloutier-Blazzard, Ph.D.

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Kimberlee Cloutier-Blazzard, Ph.D.

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☕ Cantina Coffee Chat is a series we've developed to share knowledge about a variety of topics in innovation, design, and technology. It provides an interactive forum for hosting conversations with thought leaders. We are excited to use this platform to help others and engage in meaningful conversations. We hope you enjoy the exchange.

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In episode eight, George White and Tom Anderson, Change Agent at a 135-year-old utility company, discuss how business leaders can inspire innovation at all levels of their organization by creating an open, supportive, and accessible platform for idea sharing and problem-solving.

Captured are key takeaways from the conversation:

  • Encourage people at all levels of your organization to bring forward problems and suggest solutions to those problems. This can be done by creating a dedicated cross-organizational innovation program that encourages employees to share their ideas and thinking.
  • Leaders of such a program must create a safe, neutral, and supportive environment for employees to share their challenges and potential solutions. They must also coach and train employees to make a business case for their solution and effectively champion it internally.
  • Opportunities for innovation and business impact are everywhere, but focus first on your “front-line” customer-facing workers. What pains are they experiencing? What problems are they having that they want fixed? Encourage them to share their insights and put forward business cases for problems that they want to solve. Doing so will increase productivity and create a better customer experience.
  • Innovation programs work on many levels: they ignite a culture of innovation and problem-solving; they inspire creative-thinking and collaboration; they boost morale and job satisfaction; and they seed critical initiatives that improve top- and bottom-line growth.

If you’d like to connect with Tom or George, or learn more about Cantina’s innovation and design expertise, please contact us. We’d love to hear from you!

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