It’s all well and good having lots of good ideas. How do you sort the wheat from the chaff?
In our business, innovation is one of our core values (we are professional, caring, passionate and innovative). We have an innovations box, and regularly try to find new ways of doing things, and new ways of wowing our ‘Five Stars‘. We like to break things, reinvent things, and push the barriers in what we do.
That’s great, until you have 1,000 ideas, only 24 hours in the day, and a limited bank account.
The innovations team
These limitations are inherent in most businesses. We all have a finite amount of time and money, and need to ensure that any scarce resource is maximised.
To help convert our ideas from submission to implementation, I pulled together an ‘innovations team’. This was made up of people on the ground, who could objectively look at the innovations suggested and rank them according to the following criteria:
· Which of our values they were aligned to (the more, the better)
· Which of our ‘Five Stars’ they satisfied (the more, the better)
· The cost of implementation (the lower, the better)
· The time to implement (the quicker, the better)
· The likely impact of the innovation (the more, the better)
This analysis, although involving both qualitative and quantitative measures, allows us to determine what gives us the most ‘bang for our buck’. It’s nothing complicated, despite the jargon in the last sentence! Just a simple spreadsheet, with each idea listed and ranked.
I don’t have precise statistics on profit uplift or time savings to hand at the point of writing. What I can say is that we are doing things faster, more accurately, and having more fun along the way. That can’t be a bad thing!
By Carl Reader, author of The Start Up Coach and The Franchising Handbook