MakeTime for New Ideas
One of the most common barriers to innovation is lack of time. People are just too busy doing their job day to day to spend time trying new things. The assumption is that hard work and long hours are good and sufficient for success,the mantra is "focus on delivering results." However, doing more is not enough - you need to think, create and recreate: innovate.
It's like we're so busy building rafts to cross the river that we never looked at the construction of a bridge, tunnel, dam, boats or any other possibilities. We concentrate only to produce rafts.
If you want to be creative and innovative, set the goal (eg, cross the river) and then challenge your colleagues to come up with ideas. Give them some time and resources to test them, or to investigate what other people are doing.
Google allows its employees to spend one day a week thinking only of ideas. Is this a waste of luxury? No! This time led to major innovations like Google Earth, Gmail, Orkut, Wave, and Android.
3M has allowed its scientists and engineers to spend up to 15% of their time on any project that interests them. They are not asked to seek permission from above, just to keep everyone informed of what they are doing. This has resulted in numerous ideas and innovations for 3M, a company that is regularly rated as one of the most innovative companies in the world.
The message is clear: the people, the manager, the CEO, everyone should have free time for innovation. A time to think, reflect, get out of their routine and, without the shadow of stress, create.
Whether one day a week, or fifteen minutes a day, the time to innovate is fundamental and companies should provide it.