How One Company Identified Internal Drivers of InnovationBy • Leave a comment
[tweetmeme]The latest edition of Business Week carried a story about how Amdocs, a $3 billion company that provides software and services for most of the world’s leading service providers, including AT&T, Sprint Nextel and Vodafone, developed hundreds of innovative ideas at a sort of company boot camp. This is employee engagement at its best — when a company involves employees in creating the products and services that will move the company forward. Hundreds of employees applied for the 75 spots, with participants selected on the basis of creativity, originality, and diversity, according to the article.
This is the second camp organized by the company’s chief scientist Tal Givoly, so you can imagine that in anticipation of another opportunity to be part of the action, employees were gearing up long before the event to compete for a spot. Ideas can come from anywhere. So savvy companies will look for internal drivers of innovation as well as tapping external experts. “The first day consisted solely of a variety of wacky, mind-expanding activities,” said Paul Sloane, the facilitator and author of the Business Week article. The “wacky” is what’s important. Too often companies will establish criteria before letting the ideas fly. When participants in such creative sessions are told the budget in advance it sucks the air out of room. Even the wackiest idea may have a gold nugget waiting to be plumbed.
To read how Amdocs sorted through the ideas to get to their gold nuggets, go to the Business Week article: “Inside a Corporate Innovation Camp.” Amdocs also started a blog earlier this year to engage customers as well as employees. Smart.
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