4 Ways To Jumpstart Innovation In Your Company Through Games
– Want to be a great online marketing expert someday? Then start planning and implementing it now! There is a saying that goes, “practice makes perfect” and it’s true, even science has proven that muscle memory makes us good at things we do often. Innovation, however, takes that concept one step further and it helps you come up with new solutions in every potential problem that might arise.
The Main Course
These days businesses survive and thrive on innovation and if it took Goodyear to come up with better tire designs every decade in the past; today that kind of strategy won’t last 8 months with the fierce competition in the market. My sales coach and mentor, Dave Deib told me that people don’t only want something new every 3 months or so, but they something new and IMPROVED! The question you need to ask yourself is; how will your company thrive, let alone survive, if the only innovative thinker in your team is the manager? If I had to guess, I’d say that your business is ego-centric and not one that aims for growth or staying long in the industry. That’s not good for your plans on being a successful online marketing expert at some point in the future.
Steve Jobs once said that “what use is to us if we don’t hire people who are smarter than us?” The rationale behind his words means that smarter people contribute more than people who will just follow orders. Google, on the other hand, elevated Jobs’ understanding of employing “smart” people by enacting the “20% rule.” Google’s core values are heavily invested in people and their innovation. They want to hire and pay people for what they can contribute that will improve the company and not just compile papers or do boring office work. Therefore they allowed their employees to use up 20% of their time during work to do personal projects. You don’t have to be an online marketing expert to figure out that this method works, I mean, just look at the success Google has enjoyed for the past decade!
In return these personal projects yields results, Google will then beta test it onto their systems and if users like it, then they will feature it as a new product in their brand. Now that’s innovation in the truest sense of the word!
It’s Go Time!
In my experience as an online marketing expert, I let my employees play games that will unlock their potential to outthink and/or outsmart any problem that my company may face. Here are some of those games that have helped me and my team become great innovators.
- Sacred Cows
This game in particular is a personal favorite, because it helps eradicate all those company misconceptions that holds you back from progressing on to the next level of possibilities. For instance, people in the managerial positions in your company assume that it’s a bad business practice to spend money and effort to research new methods and techniques to improve product development. It becomes a common misconception or worse, a taboo that others might follow. Playing a game of sacred cows will allow you and your team to lay out the false assumptions and actually act upon it to see whether or not it’s true. This is the first step in becoming an online marketing expert. Then you’ll see the advantage of taking the risks and win compared to holding on to your false assumptions which never helped you in the first place.
- Bad Idea
Bad Idea is something like a deductive reasoning game where you start off with a ridiculous and outrageous business idea/proposal which you’ll offer to your customers. From that “bad idea” you streamline it to fit to your customer’s needs until you will eventually turn it into a good idea for business. You should try it, it works all the time! My old sales coach and mentor to always find a solution to any problem and not let personal fears get in the way of you fixing that error, because you would be leveraging your entire business over your fears. And that’s a bad idea that has no solutions.
- What’s on Your Radar?
This game is all about prioritizing projects for your business and you won’t be a good online marketing expert until you have played this game. Let’s say you’re a bicycle designing company and you cater to all types of customers with various demographics. You would start with your most relevant customers, right? In this case, your most relevant customers are those people who buy often from you. So, from the get-go you will prioritize regular bicycles, then bicycle for kids, then sports bicycles and so on and so forth. The point is that you’ll need to categorize your products and prioritize which ones will go through the pipeline first. It will help your company be more organized.
- Abstraction Laddering
Abstraction Laddering is an innovative game, often used by online marketing experts like me, that lets you plot out the details of your plans and ideas and help get you safely from Point A to Point B. It’s usually the problem isn’t it? You and your team have incredible ideas and you want to implement them, but you don’t know where to start. Well, by actually sitting down together on a company meeting, having each team member write down their ideas or how to implement one idea at a time; you can actually reach to a veritable conclusion! And a solid plan to implement those ideas. This game essentially takes away all the unnecessary things out of the way and helps you focus on the “hows” and the “whys.”
Playing these innovation games every now and then will help your company rise up to the challenge and be recognized. This is especially true if you’re a start-up company as there are millions of start-up companies competing for market share nowadays. Your employees will stay rooted in their jobs and not get easily bored if you’ll do this, because it makes work more fun, rather than stiff and uninteresting. You’ll be on your way to becoming a great innovator and an online marketing expert soon.