Post by Adi Englander
It is common knowledge that innovative employees are every good company’s dream, but at present, it’s only really larger organizations that are getting innovation right. Innovative people are unique because they think differently. Larger companies most often get this, and are prepared to pay for it.
The good news is that any business – large or small – can empower their people to become innovative because it can be learned.
And it can be learned remotely via webinars. If you don’t already know, webinars are online meetings; people anywhere in the world can join right from their desks.
In this article, we’ll explore the thinking of innovative people, and choosing the right webinar application to breed an innovation culture amongst remote workers.
Innovative people know the industry & audience
Innovative people understand that they can’t create effective solutions within their industry if they don’t take the time to learn it. Nor can they come up with what their target audience needs if they don’t know them well enough.
Using webinar software, have an onboarding process to arm remote workers with information about the industry and your target audience. You can do this in webinar software via a PowerPoint presentation, whiteboard functionality, or screen sharing.
Innovative people solve real problems
They tend to view all circumstances in their lives, or the lives of others, with the aim of solving problems, or making things better.
Make problem solving a habit in your company; come up with exercises to get people to think up innovative solutions. You could even have competitions to make it more fun, and offer incentives to those who come up with great ideas. The point is to make problem solving a habit, as this will breed the kind of culture you want.
Using the online meeting feature in webinar software, you could run monthly competitions between peers.
Innovative people sometimes rebel against the rules
They understand that if you keep doing the same things, you’ll just keep getting the same results. They also realize that because they think differently, many others won’t “see” what they see, so often they will implement their idea or process without consultation, expecting to get a rap over the knuckles for it later.
Every successful business has standards and rules, so you can’t get away from that, but you could emulate the “Kill A Stupid Rule” program like Commerce Bank did, paying their staff to notify them of any rule that makes it difficult to wow a customer.
Innovative people are driven by efficiency
Efficiency fires up innovation, because it’s all about making things better, less expensive, faster, easier, more useful.
Innovative people constantly think about how things can be done with greater efficiency.
To create habits of efficiency in the workplace, try assigning a mentor to those who have been identified with low efficiency. Sub-accounts can be created in many of the webinar software that’s available. In this way, mentors can log in and out of the platform as they see fit.
Reward efficiency in online meetings amongst peers.
Innovative people are creative thinkers
Innovation can’t happen without creativity. It takes creativity to think about ways of doing things better, so it’s essential in the workplace.
To foster greater creativity, try requesting staff to come up with at least one suggestion each week or month of making an internal process work better, and then reward them. When employees see that their ideas are taken seriously, they’ll take the time to think up more.
Also consider making the workplace a fun place to be, because that also sparks creativity. Just ask Google who is renowned for this.
Use webinars to train remote workers about how to be more creative in their roles.
Innovative people are confident in themselves
People who think out of the box are those who believe in themselves and their abilities, and this allows them to push past the barriers into innovation.
Provide training that will help workers become more self-confident, and institute methods via webinars and online meetings to reinforce the training. This is key, because self-confidence doesn’t just happen.
Innovative people believe they’re making a difference
Innovative people are only innovative because they believe their work makes a difference to the organization. They understand their roles and how they fit into the overall vision of the company.
To get employees to engage and believe in the company’s vision, there needs to be clear communication, management needs to be open to their ideas, and engagement levels should be measured.
For remote workers who are often forgotten because they can’t be seen, use a good project management system that facilitates good project communication, and don’t neglect to keep them informed about what’s happening in the company.
Webinar software allows for good communication between the business and remote workers, but be sure to assign people with the task of hosting scheduled, informative webinars.
Innovative people think differently.
To create an innovation culture, even with remote workers, it’s necessary to understand what makes innovative people think differently, and how to use webinars to teach innovative thinking.
- Learn the industry and the target audience
- Are problem solvers
- Don’t always follow the rules
- Are a little obsessed with efficiency
- Are creative
- Believe in their abilities
- Believe they make a difference
Adi Englander is a freelance writer and social media expert who writes for Gerris digital, a full-service digital strategy firm in the Washington, DC, area.