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          The Holy Grail of Innovation


          Managing a team, an organization or a product has been increasingly compared to juggling, with the number of balls in the air growing by the minute. The speed of information flow, and the ever shorter period available for learning, followed by accelerated development of technology and desire for instant time to market have created a new work order. In this new, dynamic world, we expect each employee to be involved, efficient, and creative to the fullest without neglecting the livelihood of the company – its daily operative business.

          Every global study has shown that organizations employing highly motivated people, individuals who care about the success of the company they work for, are more successful. A concept that emerged in the Far East, in Japan, that has now spread globally promotes the significant improvement in quality and speed of business activities for all employees, even conveyor workers, if they continuously think about the improvement of operation.

          The speed of information flow, globalization, and a broad access to resources give way to a rise in competitiveness on global markets. In order to successfully step away from cheaper or broader competition, many try to imbue their offer, as well the market placement of their offer, with creativity and innovation.

          When you place all the balls in one box, it may seem frighteningly full. But the person who manages these balls day in day out has to maintain them in air all the time. Such jugglers almost invariably fall into one of two states.

          Method 1. Excessively focusing on the airborne balls and frantic attempts to keep them from falling on the ground. Meanwhile, we fail to notice that a train is approaching that will surely run over us. And all it took was one look forward at the right moment to avoid the accident.

          Method 2. An equally common and unfortunate option is to put some of the balls, such as encouraging creativity or efficiency, in the box while we focus on the balls we can keep in the air, all the while minding the bolts, thunders, and trains around us. This method almost always leads to the same endless delay of things we need to survive.

          As in many other situations in life, balls don’t come with silver bullet solutions. However, admitting to oneself that issues with innovations, managing knowledge, efficiency, and the like cannot be handled separately is a good place to start. As in other forms of treatment, such issues require a holistic approach.

          Even though it may initially seem that time spent on creativity hinders the efficiency of an organization, it is actually quite the opposite. Each of these areas has a positive impact on other areas. For example, an improvement in the quality of knowledge management will accelerate organizational processes as the employees will gain quicker access to information on handling specific situations.

          Guided by these principles, we have tried to utilize the advantages of a new approach to collaboration – Social Business – and built our own solutions on an open social network. Like My Idea enables such a holistic approach to managing knowledge, innovation, and efficiency.

          Social Business is a coinage that stands for new forms of collaboration through the use of principles of social networking. It is unusual that these principles originated after the explosion of the Internet, and that they first gained ground among private users in different social networks such as Facebook or Twitter. Methods of disseminating information from generation to generation and the use of a broad network to reach masses in a faster and more effective way could have happened sooner in the business world. It is also interesting that people who shy away from using such networks for private purposes see a great benefit of these methods for themselves and their businesses when it comes to sharing knowledge and information.

          Like My Idea is a solution that has primarily been devised to encourage a more active involvement of employees in their work environment, whether by putting ideas forward, voting for them, commenting on the ideas, and expanding them or by keeping up with developments in the organization.

          If we put ourselves in the place of a person responsible for business, this solution enables us to entice transparency, increase the quality of the flow of knowledge, encourage and motivate team members, and, probably most importantly, focus on the important things in the organization. On individuals that truly matter and contribute to the development of the organization, on clear ideas that enjoy the support of the organization, on knowledge that helps the organization thrive in creativity and success. Technology has opened up a new door to collaboration – that door can hide either an empty room or a healthy, happy organization. Only people decide what awaits us on the other side and no new concept will replace this human factor. But if people deal with the wrong things, they don’t have time for creating new worlds in their organizations. Social and Like My Idea can help expand an organization’s new horizons.

          Vedrana Miholić is the director of sales at CROZ and a member of the CROZ DACH management board. Her professional background includes more than 20 years of successful work as a financial analyst, software development methodology consultant, and project portfolio manager. She’s also a passionate runner. Some of her greatest achievements are marathons in Berlin, New York and Chicago. And yes, she successfully climbed to the top of Kilimanjaro.


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