Innovation is the execution of an idea.
“Coming up with ideas is easy,” says Lisa Bodell, futurist and founder/CEO of the innovation research and training firm futurethink. “Building them in to valuable concepts--that make money, change lives, improve situations, or however you define ‘value’--is much harder.”
Bodell is the keynote speaker for Monday morning’s general session of the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference.
She says leaders need to create a climate of innovation in their workplace where employees believe they can approach leaders with new ideas and then receive the support and resources to cultivate those ideas.
Fostering a culture of innovation is essential for credit unions to continue to grow, Bodell says.
Flexibility, creativity, communication, seeking out opportunities, and collaboration--all desirable traits in successful leaders--are also key to creating an atmosphere that encourages innovation.
Innovation doesn’t just mean large, drastic changes, Bodell says. For many organizations, it may involve starting by implementing small changes.
Employees can begin challenging the status quo by focusing on “stupid rules,” or the processes and tasks in their daily work that aren’t valuable, and coming up with alternatives that will replace or improve these tasks.
Employees could see value in shortening a weekly status meeting, changing the monthly operating report to every other month, or discontinuing the use of “reply all” in group emails.
Stopping tasks such as these--which Bodell says are low-value and inefficient--will free up employees to carry out more meaningful work and innovative thinking.
CUNA's news.cuna.org interviewed Bodell in anticipation of her appearance at GAC.