Last Friday we had an innovation day at Claromentis and the result is a thought provoking issue for me. I don’t post that often about business, but this one really got me thinking.
Basically the engineering team – Desing, Dev, Testing – had a day off away from the demands of scheduled tasks to work on anything they felt like – perhaps a project they had been thinking about but never had the time to do, or new technology that they felt could help our platform. We then scheduled a meeting at the end of the day where anyone could present their idea – along with free beers. Great way to spend a Friday..
As this was our first try at this we didn’t really make a big deal of it, just scheduled it and let people respond as they wished. The results were really amazing – we had 6 great ideas presented to us, with a lot of the outline work done and shown to the team. They were incredibly varied – and I have to say all of them, without exception, were good and valid concepts.
So what’s the issue? Simply that we now have to find a way to select one or two for further development, and I need to do that without discouraging everyone else! Its one of those occasions where you just don’t want to select any winners – you want to give everyone time – and therefore resources – to keep working on their concept.
Sometimes competition produces an unwelcome side effect – someone has to lose. Like any business we have limited resources .. any ideas how to encourage everyone but still select just one idea to be carried on, potentially into production?