Create opportunities to let talents emerge

Blog Post Breakthrough Results

In every corporation there are innovation super generators waiting for an opportunity to unleash their true potential.

The secret to finding them is to create a series of volunteer innovation opportunities they can join and help lead. Those who feel stifled by working on one function in a cubicle will jump at the chance to be a part of something new.

Super generators thrive on meeting people from other parts of the organization, enjoy being visible to senior leaders, and appreciate the responsibility and autonomy to do something important.

What we’ve found with our clients is that employees will raise their hands and say, “This is what I’ve been hoping for.” People will go there quickly and you will see them emerge.

These innovation opportunities unleash the potential that is already there. It gives employees a chance to rise up and creates new roles for them to play. Test it out by giving them responsibility to develop a plan, approach or a new way of looking at things, and they will grab it and run with it.

A package goods/manufacturing client in South Africa has had huge success with discovering innovation super generators. One employee was so excited to be put on the environmental innovation team that he jumped in and took over. Most of this work was on his own time, but he ended up saving the company a fair amount of money on how it deals with trash, electricity and recycling. His commitment to environmentally sound manufacturing operations should ultimately lead to a strategy for the entire organization.

In many cases, employees are put into jobs because of past successes. They know how the job should be carried out and are mindlessly doing that. Forming a volunteer network will attract those who are interested in contributing more. The nice part is it doesn’t cost anything. If they come back with less-than-inspiring ideas, nothing has been lost.

But if they emerge victorious, don’t send them back to the cubicle job. There should be some kind of promise they can be used in the organization in a better way. Those experiences will fulfill them, their needs and those of the organization.