Is innovation a commodity that’s sorely lacking in your business organization? In a rapidly evolving marketplace, there’s no doubt that innovation is necessary for growing your business and keeping up with the competition. However, after years of recession, cuts, and other financial issues in many businesses, creativity, motivation, and innovation may be difficult for some companies to foster. That’s where employee innovative contests can make a huge difference.
Why Hold Employee Innovation Competitions?
Contests breed competition and competition in numbers can be fierce. But what about throwing a contest for your own employees? Instead of advertising a contest with a big cash reward for the public, save the money and put it back into your talented employees,” the TRIZ Journal, an online innovation resource, advises. “Use their knowledge to grow the company… . When employees feel supported, they are free to swim in creativity and help the bottom line of an organization.”
For years, competitions for innovation have led to some major marketplace innovations. Big businesses hold them and make them nationwide to capitalize on a global pool of talent. These large global competitions require a great deal of capital in order to host however. They are willing to pay the price because the results are generally spectacular. The problem is that the average small business can never hope to match the prizes they’re putting up. But fortunately, there are alternatives that even small businesses can choose in order to cash in on so they too can spark innovation among their employees.
While innovative opportunities come from external sources, like customers, competing products, and suppliers, over 50 percent of an enterprise’s innovation opportunities have internal origins, according to Christian Terwiesch and Karl Ulrich, both of which are professors at the Wharton School.
What You Need to Know Before Hosting Your Contest
Benefits Beyond the Contest
Believe it or not, the benefits of a contest like this, especially if you manage a high participation rate from your employees, is that you’ve jump started the creative thought process, let employees know that you are listening to the suggestions they make, and you’ve opened the door to even more innovative ideas in the future. Don’t underestimate the power of a little competition among colleagues either. Your business will be the one raking in the rewards of their competitive natures.
If you’re sincerely searching for a great way to bring out the creative best in your employees, there are few things that are more effective than a competition such as this for doing so—and you’ll get to reap the rewards well beyond the end of the contests.