Great to Good Innovation

Yes, you read it right. The title of this piece is ‘Great to Good’. I’m going to talk about how, in the 21st Century, we need ‘Goodness’ more than ‘Greatness’ when it comes to innovation. Between 1996-2001, Jim Collins’ team researched and wrote a bestselling book called Good to Great. They described 11 out of 1,435 companies that had shown the highest level of success over the decades. Most of them were organizations that ‘make and sell’ products (Abbott Laboratories, Kimberly-Clark, Philip Morris, and Gillette Company). Other books such as Built to Last (1994) by the same author and In Search of Excellence (1982) by Tom Peters made similar studies with concurring results. However, the majority of these great 20th century companies failed to sustain their level of greatness in the Open-Source era. The management consultant giant McKinsey and Co. did a follow-on study that found 32 of the 50 companies described in these books to only matched or underperformed the market over their subsequent 15-to-20-year period. In fact, the ‘great’ Circuit City and Kodak both went bankrupt. The question is “Why?” If I asked you to name some innovations of the 20th Century, which ones would you think of? Well, many of you might already be thinking “Stop asking and just Google them, silly!” That is true; excuse me. So, I typed ‘Innovations of the 20th Century’, and the results I got are 1) Nuclear Power 2) Personal Computer 3) Airplane 4) Automobile 5) Antibiotics 6) Television, etc. We are familiar with all these inventions. Here is another question: Do you know who these people are? And what they invented? In parentheses are their dates of birth. Charles Darwin (1859), Thomas Edison (1879), Albert Einstein (1921), Alexander Fleming (1928), Edwin Land (1948), Robert Metcalfe (1973), and Peter Dunn & Albert Wood (1998)? They were inventors of the 20th Century; many of which gave rise to the said products. Now, how about these? Jack Ma (2000), Jeff Bezos (2003), Mark Zuckerberg (2004), Reed Hastings (2007), Brian Chesky (2008), Travis Kalanick (2009), Anthony Tan (2012). They were also inventors, but of the 21st Century. Obviously, all names listed are ‘innovators’ of their time. But the real question is, what is the difference between the first and second set? The answer, to me, is how the meaning of innovation has changed. We have spent over a century making and producing ‘things’. Never has the world experienced so much wealth, consumed so much resources, collected so much assets, and generated so much wastes. In fact, most of us own at least 4 of the 6 examples of Innovations of the 20th Century that I outlined above. Books such as Consumptionomics (2011) by Chandran Nair and Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think (2012) by Peter H. Diamandis provide further evidence of this prosperity. By the way, in case you were wondering, Peter Dunn & Albert Wood (1998) are inventors of the performance-enhancing drug Viagra. Innovation in the 21st century, however, is about sharing – not producing. If I were to now Google Innovations of the 21st Century; here is what it would tell me about inventions that are impacting lives: “The world’s largest taxi firm, Uber, owns no cars. The world’s most popular media company, Facebook, creates no content. The world’s most valuable retailer, Alibaba, carries no stock. And the world’s largest accommodation provider, Airbnb, owns no property. Something big is going on.” These businesses own virtually nothing they are providing to customers, yet they have created tremendous values and changes in the world. Unicorns, Decacorns and Hectocorns are the theme of the present era. It is the age of making money out of nothing; what Hamish McRae @TheIndyBusiness dubbed ‘The rise of content non-generator’. As a matter of fact, businesses of the 21st Century are being invested based on their ‘value-ation’ rather than the traditional Return on Asset or Profit & Loss statements. Even Google does not own the search results that were returned. It merely drew them from existing data generated by millions of resources around the world. The innovations in the 21st Century are different. Something big is indeed going on. The 20th Century was an era of geniuses; one needs not ponder for long to think of Albert Einstein (1879-1955), the inventor of the E = mc2 equation; the special theory of relativity; and a recipient to the Nobel Prize in photoelectric, which serves as the basis for Quantum Physics. Or, even before that we had Thomas Edison (1847-1931) who was a prolific inventor, holding 1,093 US patents in his name. These genious discoveries have since gave birth to products like nuclear power, lights, television, automobile, spacecraft etc. Such influence partly explains why most parents strive to raise their kids to be as smart as possible. The genius craze led to children books with titles like ‘Raising Genius’, the ‘Baby Genius’ DVDs, and movies such as ‘Goodwill Hunting’, starring Matt Damon as the improbable ‘genius’. Notice that none of the innovators in my second list has a Nobel Prize. And I think it is unlikely that any of them will ever get one. Innovations of the 21st Century era do not rely on one to discover secret codes of the universe. Facebook basically lets people around the world share their diaries; Airbnb is a brokerage for vacant rooms; and Grab is a virtual concierge who goes out and get us a cab. There is no complex ingenuity at play here; only laymen who see questions that the world has been waiting for answers. These start-ups simply integrate and utilize things that already exist to provide good answers. In the current era of resource abundance, one does not need to have an IQ of Einstein’s, or to dedicate a life of failing 10,000 times like Edison to concoct an invention. A good idea or two will suffice. 20th Century was about a few people finding GREAT discoveries. 21st Century is about all of us, using the breakneck speed connectivity that technology provides, to do GOOD things together for a better future. That is my meaning of Great to Good. Leadership Insights 1. The New S Curve: Organizations in various countries that I am working with are all buzzing about disruptive innovation – how to build the new growth cycle? To begin cracking that code, one must understand that innovations of this era are unlike anything we have ever seen before. I would argue that even […]

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10 Practical uses of Deep Learning

Deep learning has altered the way we operate in various ways. These are 10 practical use cases of Deep Learning in the last few years. ONE: Facial Recognition Most airports are now able to use deep learning techniques to identify and track persons of interest (e.g. terror suspects), track your luggage and detect any suspicious item very quickly. VPU (Vision Processing Unit)-enabled security cameras installed at airports generate alerts the moment they find someone leaving their luggage, thus making it possible to detect airport security threats within minutes. Installed in traffic scenarios, they can also recognize driver-less cars and help them find the right parking spots. TWO: Understanding customer behaviour in ecommerce E-commerce sites, such as ebay and Amazon, are greatly benefited through Deep Learning. The entire session journeys of consumers are noted. The longer and more dynamic an event is, the greater is the propensity of people to click on the ‘buy now’ button. Once a particular consumer behaviour is noted in case of a range of products, the site is optimized to ensure that the next time a similar consumer visits, they get a more engaging experience so as to convert into a purchase within the shortest time. THREE: Having a private tech self-support For calendar coordination and scheduling, we have Clara and to gather staff report and consolidate meeting information we have Howdy. Google Now is the preferred program for keeping on schedule through proactive alerts, and for follow-ups after meetings, GridSpace Sift is a brilliant manager. FOUR: Transforming the industrial sector through Internet of Things Data In several countries, chemical manufacturing units and aircraft units are installing machine learned sensors to get a complete idea of new challenges and insights. This has helped in reducing pitfalls and machine breakdown, thus considerably reducing costs and maintaining a healthy and hygienic environment in manufacturing units. FIVE: Convolutional neural networks finding minerals Geologists in Australia are currently using the procedure to locate minerals in relatively unexplored areas of the land. SIX: Deep learning facilitating automatic grading of eye diseases Researchers today are very close to developing digital assistance to radiologists, ophthalmologists and other clinicians. Significant progress has been made in the field in the past years. SEVEN: Defining personal style through artificial intelligence Visit a page of your favourite shopping site a few times and you will find that products as per your preference are displayed on your personalized page. Thus, your work of choosing and shopping has been made simpler. EIGHT: Deep learning reducing error rate for diagnosis of breast cancer Adoption of this machine-learning method has enabled pathologists working with computers, to outperform independently working pathologists. Machine learning has been adopted by several breast cancer research organizations. The algorithms put together in the technologically enhanced machines help pathologists identify cancer cells through lymph node images. NINE: Deep learning is now a part of baby monitor systems Instead of conventional baby monitors that just track breathing and heart-rate of children, advanced baby monitors have hit the market that detect wrong postures and movements of the baby, generating alerts to parents from time to time. Thus, if your baby is accidentally sleeping on her stomach, mum can get an alert in the kitchen through the baby monitor and rush to her cot to perfect the posture. Furthermore, if a baby is sleeping on the edge of the bed, an alert is sent to the mum, so she can settle the baby before a fall. TEN: Machine learned cars can now find their way through complex traffic routes A DNC (Differentiable Neural Computer) has been developed by Google’s DeepMind and today it is being installed within cars so that, if it is simply presented with maps, lines and stops, it can take the shortest and simplest route to navigate from one point to another. Thus, making it possible for new drivers to make through new roads without difficulty. Machine learning through neural networks is picking up speed and increasing in popularity all over the globe. Continuous research and improvisations in the field can give us many more ways that deep learning can ease human involvement and accelerate productivity. SHAILENDRA KUMAR First published in Cognitive Today

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Employee Innovation Survey- Results

About Us

Introduction The purpose of the Survey was to determine if employees have a voice in helping their organisations succeed. Employee involvement in innovation was specifically researched. Innovation was defined simply as “implementation of ideas that add value”. Recommendations Based on these results it is recommended that leaders of organisations: Acknowledge that innovation is necessary to grow businesses and employees are a key source of innovation Recognise that innovation includes ideas that staff have to improve the way they work and how the business operates Check whether resignations and/or low employee engagement is related to difficulties employees have in contributing ideas at work Offer employees a way to contribute ideas Consider using a simple idea capture tool that all levels of staff can use Recognise employees who contribute useful ideas Allocate resources to capture employee ideas and implement selected ideas Assess outcomes in terms of both business improvements and employee engagement Detailed results Although 84% of leaders in organisations covered in this survey are talking about the need for innovation, only 69% of employees believe the culture of their organisation actually welcomes new ideas. Many employees doubt whether their leaders want new ideas as much as they say they do   This result indicates there is a significant gap in organisations ‘walking the talk’ on innovation. Frustration was expressed when organisations said they wanted innovation but were not resourcing it. The main reason employees don’t contribute ideas is when they believe their boss is not interested. Employees don’t contribute ideas when their boss is not interested A key finding is that over 90% of employees believe they are the best source of innovation, with 57% strongly agreeing and 34% agreeing. The best source of innovation is employees Leaders often don’t recognise that their employees are the best source of innovation and could contribute many more ideas than they do now. 76% said they could contribute more useful ideas than they do now, especially those who are 26-35 years old (89%). Younger people and those in lower level positions find it most difficult to get their ideas up the line and these are the people who are often facing the customer and aware of new trends. Employees could contribute many more ideas than they do now When asked what would make it easier for them to contribute ideas the top response was 45% wanting a software tool/digital platform that’s easy to use, with lower management particularly in favour at 59% as well as organisations with 5,000 plus employees at 64%. A software tool/digital platform that’s easy to use would make it easier for employees to contribute ideas Only 26% of employees said that their organisations offer a software tool/digital platform to contribute ideas, including 41% of organisations with 5,000 plus employees. When an innovation tool is provided, 75% of employees use it. When asked about incentives being offered for ideas 87% of 18-35 year-olds said they would contribute more ideas if an incentive was offered. Recognition can be a significant incentive. Young employees (18-35) would contribute many more ideas with incentives Another key finding is that over 90% of employees would be more likely to stay with their organisations if they could contribute more ideas. Losing employees who want to contribute more would be a significant cost to these organisations. Employees would be more likely to stay if they could contribute more ideas Comments showed that employees want more power to implement ideas they suggest. They also want management to be more supportive in testing ideas. Many were annoyed when time was spent developing an idea and either they weren’t empowered to test it, or they received no feedback on why it wouldn’t be accepted. Feedback was shown to be important in building employee engagement. It seems that there is a mismatch in goals between givers and receivers of ideas. Givers expect ideas to be implemented while receivers may just be seeking information. This mismatch can lead employees to overestimate the likelihood that their advice will be taken. As a result they can become disillusioned and less likely to offer advice in future. Therefore it’s very important that leaders allocate resources to both capturing employee ideas and implementing selected ideas. Comments on the survey results David Thodey AO, Chair of CSIRO and Jobs for NSW “I have a strong view that the best source of innovation is your staff. They know the business and how to improve it better than consultants. The issue has always been how do you provide an open forum for those ideas? I really like the IdeaSpies Enterprise solution.” Tony Nimac, Partner in charge of KPMG Enterprise NSW “We trialled IdeaSpies Enterprise last year and have continued to use it. It was very well received by staff. It’s thought provoking, fun and easy to use, with no training needed. People see the tool as an opportunity to suggest ideas that could improve the way they work. In addition to specific ideas, we’ve seen themes coming from the ideas that have led to improvements. We give selected staff the opportunity to implement ideas they suggest and have benefited from improving staff engagement.” Respondent comments Great to get this out there. We need to encourage staff in enterprises to bring all their ideas to work. My organisation’s leader is fixated on innovation however doesn’t have the resources to fund it. It’s extremely frustrating as the health of the business is crumbling. It’s one thing to contribute ideas to an organisation but it is even more important to know that you have been heard. Many times the act of being asked to contribute is hollow. Management give the illusion of wanting contributions/ideas but then lack the skills to either give feedback or implement or recognise good ideas. Motto of our Social Enterprise “One individual can make a difference, but it takes a team effort to make it happen”. Organisations are too wrapped and comfortable in the way they do things. I often hear ‘don’t go re-inventing the wheel’ or ‘that’s the way we have always done things’. What innovation can people expect when organisations are afraid of change no matter how prepared they think they are. Innovation in Government is such a challenge when there are cut backs like in WA. Any suggestions are piecemeal. Culturally Australia is a long way behind places such as Scandinavia […]

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Trends in early education

Recently I saw a headline article on the ‘School of the future’, with a particular focus on design, or to use the relevant term, the “built environment”. Whilst the focus was important and necessary, any content that referred to how the design of the built environment promoted best practice teaching was conspicuous in its absence. How often is discussion about structural environments contributing to culture, and very little about people? Talk to most parents and you quickly realise that the relationships between their children and their teachers are front and centre. This becomes particularly important in early education, the period of time before attending ‘school’ as it known. In the early education sector, which is largely composed of preschools and long day care centres, the discussion assumes another dimension. There is not only a difference between the built environments of an early learning centre and a school, but also the nature of the educators and the skill sets required of them now and into the future. In fact, a glimpse into the future of early learning quickly alerts us to the realisation that the educators of tomorrow will need to assume a range of skills that are quite different to the educator in (say) a  primary school. Here are just a few some likely scenarios, hopefully with a lot more rigour than a Nostradamus prediction: The educator of the future will need to be more adept in recognising factors that inhibit learning. The earlier these are identified in a child’s development, the better. This implies that an early educator will play a more essential role in this process. Following on from that, the early educator will need to be better trained in how to best address these factors, particularly in children who have  special needs. Again, remedial action sooner rather than later is advisable. Early learning centres will need to form stronger pathways and links to local schools so that children can transition more smoothly. The wealth of data and knowledge gained by the early educator would be invaluable to the next teacher, and the strength of this link can go a long way toward addressing the learning challenges of a young child. The manager and staff of your local preschool or long day care centre may assume a role as the parental counsellor and guide. Apart from the faithful local nurse, pediatrician or doctor; who stands beside the parent who is finding it tough adjusting to parenthood? Add to this the pressure on family relationships, financial adjustment and a busy lifestyle and all of a sudden, your child’s first educator becomes a confidant, counsellor and resident shoulder to cry on. How do we equip these people whose career was chosen based on other criteria? The educator of the future will need a deep understanding of diverse cultures and backgrounds. As a nation Australia has a unique blend of  many cultures that challenges our established ways of understanding and relating. A better understanding of a child’s background can be essential in delivering better learning outcomes, particularly if it is assumed that ‘success’ in the early learning revolves around effective partnerships with families. So, what does this have to with the built environment and design? Everything I say, if not a lot. If engagement with parents is important in these years then providing spaces for this to occur is important. The need to train and equip staff continually requires intelligent design. If we are truly committed to the individual requirements of children with  special needs then thought needs to be given to how we best create the environment for our early educators to enable them to succeed. The school of the future may look impressive, but education of the future needs to involve the educator of the future. Domenic Valastro CEO Integricare   

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Innovation in the fitness industry

Over the past five years, the fitness industry has undergone considerable structural change due to the rise of digital technology and entrepreneurs forging a career in helping people achieve fitness goals. Fitness Centre revenues in Australia are forecast to reach $2.4 billion in 2022/23. In 2017 the ‘licensure for fitness professionals’ industry grew reflecting the rise in fitness professionals and personal trainers worldwide. To stand out from the crowd, these fitness entrepreneurs are tapping into the thriving digital space to innovate their offering and reach a wider audience. Lauren Hannaford (ex-Wiggle and Dorothy The Dinosaur) has created FHIT, a digital fitness program for subscribers to use at the comforts of home, at work or even while travelling. All the online streaming program requires is an internet connection – no equipment, no gym, just a personal coach who happens to be Lauren Hannaford. Speaking to IdeaSpies, Lauren says the fitness industry has come a long way in terms of innovation. “If there continue to be new discoveries in the way the human body functions, the industry will continue to create new innovative ways to train,” said Lauren. “Whether that’s using new machines or through greater understanding of the mechanics and functionality of the body, new styles of training and techniques will continue to evolve and improve the way we train.” The FHIT program is largely based on various HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts, which is the first choice of training technique among many fitness experts in the industry due to its lack of equipment, time efficiency and flexible space arrangements. Lauren has also incorporated techniques as a former National gymnast, including body-weight training, into her workouts. The move towards an online streaming workout program is both cost effective and convenient. It eliminates the hefty cost of gym memberships, waiting for gym equipment to be free, travel time to and from the gym and working out in an uncomfortable environment. FHIT users are encouraged to embark on a fitness journey at their own pace, increasing in intensity as they progress. For motivation, Lauren joins the session with you as your personal trainer with workouts ranging from 15, 30 or 45 minutes with quick add on options of 5 and 7-minute burner workouts. To provide a holistic approach, users receive personalised messages from Lauren, regular blog updates and personal check-in messages to keep you in check, motivated and on-track. Lauren cites social media as a major reason for creating FHIT with frequent requests for fitness programs, tips and advice. “I started FHIT for both personal and professional reasons. Over the years I have constantly been asked to write programs, give fitness tips and advice for people. I decided the most effective way to achieve this is to create an online platform like FHIT where people could exercise anywhere, anytime but in a way, that is personable, instructional and motivational.” said Lauren. As the convenience economy grows in Australia, online based platforms are also growing and the need for products and services at the click of a button is stronger than ever. This has allowed for the emergence of an alternative personal training system. “As personal trainers are becoming more digitally focused and want to be able to train anywhere and at any time, their clients still crave the communication and connection that comes with a trainer.” Lauren said. To learn more visit https://www.laurenhannaford.com.au  

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How to get your startup better known

The following are ways you can make your start-up well known by publicity through guest posting. What is guest posting? Guest posting can simply be defined as the act of contributing to another web owner’s or blogger’s website. How do you get started?                                                     The first step will be to search for an authority website that allows contributors. You can search over the internet for relevant sites that have blogs You can find them on social media or forums. Be on the lookout for brands or people who get talked about a lot in your niche or industry as well as noted authors and influencers. Examples of authority websites you can contribute to are www.outbrain.com  www.huffingtonpost.com  www.about.com  and www.IdeaSpies.com which all have impressive global ranking. There are also many magazines that may be looking for guest writers. Once you establish an authority publication to write for, reach out. Do a pitch, identify yourself and express your interest in contributing..  When you have done your pitch, you need to sit back and wait for approval. The time it will take for you to get feedback will depend on how busy the webmaster and editors are. They are getting requests from other bloggers to contribute to their sites. Ask for feedback. The publication may be able to suggest ways to improve your post. When your post is published share it to your social media. When you do the value of the post is maximised. What role does guest posting play in making your business known publicly? 1.    It allows you to share your news with more people Guest posting will expand the size of the audience you will be able to reach. You already have an audience. If you contribute to a relevant website, you will be able to draw more audience to your site. Provided you contribute quality and relevant content you will be able to increase your following: which signifies that your brand has more value. 2.    Link building By guest posting, you will be able to build links for your website: which is a smart move. Remember that search engines consider quality backlinks in ranking a site on search results. If you do it well, guest blogging will earn you backlinks and in turn, search engines will rank your site more highly.  Hence your site will be easier to find. A bigger audience will be able to find you, therefore your brand will become better known.                          3.    Building relationships While guest posting, you will be able to establish relationships with other web owners and bloggers. Most of them are influential in the market and they could help you to be influential. 4.  Guest posting will improve your online authority There is no better way of improving your online authority than guest posting. When you contribute to a brand or business that already has authority you will gain credibility hence  more brand awareness . 5. Honing your content marketing skills The best way to learn content marketing is by doing it. For your brand to be known publicly your content marketing skills should be on point. Guest posting will give you an arena to research and an opportunity to learn. Through guest posting you will experience growth in every area of content marketing, which you can use to grow your own brand by increasing awareness. Guest posting is one of the surest ways of creating brand awareness. If you have not yet put it to the test, use these guidelines to get started, and it will be worth your while. Dancun Kingori   Dealstream

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Why and how to encourage your team to take breaks at work

Taking Breaks for Better Brain Power It may be tempting to power through a big project or compress work hours in order to leave early. But the brain needs periodic downtime. When workers stay at a task for a long time, their performance suffers. The human brain is designed to move through periods of focus and unfocus. Don’t be fooled by the term unfocus. It may feel like you’re resting when you daydream or take a break from a task, but your brain is busy. It switches to a brain circuit called the Default Mode Network, which uses even more energy than when focused on a task. While in this default state, the brain activates old memories, processes emotions, recombines ideas, and seeks out big-picture strategies for the future. Unfocused time allows indiviudals to come up with creative solutions for problems and understand other people’s thinking. It also facilitates learning and may boost performance. In one study, students who took a break while studying a task performed better on a test the next day than students who studied nonstop without a break. In another study, students who were allowed to take a break every hour during a standardized test performed better than when they were only allowed to take a break every two hours. Professionals also benefit from breaks. When the Draugiem Group, a collection of companies in Latvia, tracked their employees’ time and productivity, they discovered that the most productive employees took the most breaks. On average, high performers took a 17-minute break for every 52 minutes they worked. Standing Up for Healthier Bodies and Brains Breaks aren’t just important for job performance; they’re imperative for human health. When you think of dangerous jobs, you probably think of logging or iron and steelworkers. But sedentary office jobs also carry health risks if workers sit for long periods without breaks. The World Health Organization lists sedentary behavior as the fourth-leading risk factor for premature death for people around the world. Sitting too much is linked to an increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. It also impacts the brain in undesirable ways. In one study, inactivity was linked to thinning of the medial temporal lobe, an area of the brain linked with memory formation. Exercising in the mornings or evenings doesn’t prevent health problems caused by sitting too much. Ideally, workers should get up and move every half hour for optimal health. Even walking for two minutes at a time throughout the day is linked to greater longevity. Taking a walk at lunch reduces stress, improves mood, and boosts work performance. Social Workers are Happy Workers When you see employees chit chatting around the water cooler, it’s cause to celebrate. Work relationships have a big impact on employees’ happiness levels. In one survey, 89% of workers said positive work relationships mattered to their overall quality of life. Moreover, it may boost a company’s bottom line when employees socialize at work. In a Gallup poll, women who had a best friend at work were 63% more likely to be engaged at work compared to those who didn’t. That’s important because companies with high employee engagement report 22% higher productivity. Employees who have friends at work are more likely to love their companies, to trust the leadership of their companies, and to stay at their jobs. When a major bank began scheduling call-center employees’ breaks together so they could socialize, the workers’ productivity jumped by 25%. Even socializing online during breaks may improve employees’ job performance. In one study, when workers were allowed to use social media during a 10-minute break, they were 40% more productive for the rest of the day than workers who were not given a break, and 16% more productive than those who were given a break without access to the internet. Refuelling for Better Concentration Breaks not only give workers a chance to catch up with each other, they provide an opportunity for workers to nourish their bodies and brains. Unfortunately, most Americans don’t eat a nutritious lunch every day. Only 19% of American workers take a regular lunch break. And more than half (62%) of professionals typically eat at their desks. Skipping lunch can lead to fatigue, drowsiness, shortened attention span, and a slower speed of processing information. Proper nutrition can have a huge impact on productivity, especially if workers are undernourished. When San Pedro Diseños, a textile company in Guatemala City, provided their employees with breakfast and lunch, production jumped 70% and their annual earnings went up 20%. Even in the U.S., where most workers eat adequate calories every day, encouraging workers to eat healthy meals may improve performance. In one study, physicians, who often skip breakfast and lunch, were provided with healthy meals as part of a wellness program. The doctors reported they were less irritable with patients and more alert when they ate during the day. How to Encourage Your Employees to Take Breaks Now that you understand the benefits of breaks, it’s time to encourage your employees to actually take them. More than a quarter (28%) of employees say they seldom, if ever, take any breaks at work. Here’s how to convince your employees to get up from their desks. Discuss the benefits of breaks If most of your employees are skipping breaks, chances are your company culture is not break-friendly. In one survey, 20% of employees said they feel guilty leaving their workstations. At your next meeting, discuss the benefits of breaks with your team and that they’re encouraged at your workplace. Urge your team to use break-friendly apps Pomodoro apps remind employees to take short breaks at regular intervalsto improve health and boost productivity. The Donut app pairs employees that don’t know each other well and prompts them to meet for coffee, lunch, or a donut. Lead by example Workplace behavior is contagious. In one survey, 49% of workers said they’ve imitated someone’s behavior at work. If your team sees leadership taking breaks during the day, they’ll be more likely to follow suit. Provide a quiet break area The sad state of American workers’ breaks may reflect the sad state of office break rooms. In one survey, half of employees in one survey said they didn’t have a properly furnished breakroom. And three-quarters (76%) said they’d unwind more at work if they had access to well-stocked snacks and a comfortable breakroom. Stock the kitchen with healthy snacks If you provide free food, they will come. More than half (63%) of employees say complimentary snacks and […]

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Are you looking for ideas from staff or just information?

Employees don’t contribute ideas when their boss is not interested. There is often a mismatch in goals between givers and recipients of advice. Though we usually have experience both with seeking and giving advice, when we put our advice seeker’s hat on, we seem to forget our perspective when we are giving advice. Advice seekers often view the purpose of the interaction to be more information-focused, while advisors view it as more guidance-focused. This disconnect can lead advisors to overestimate the likelihood that their advice will be taken. As a result, advice seekers risk facing unanticipated costs if they don’t take the advice, such as offending the advice giver and reducing their interest in giving more advice in the future. A recent Employee Innovation Survey considered why employees don’t contribute ideas. The purpose of the survey was to determine if employees have a voice in helping their organisations succeed. The main reason given was that the boss is not interested. Employees want more power to implement ideas they suggest. They also want management to be more supportive in testing ideas. 23% said nothing happened with their ideas and many were annoyed when time was spent developing an idea and either they weren’t empowered to test it, or they received no feedback on why it wouldn’t be accepted. Feedback was shown to be important in building employee engagement. The survey shows that 84% of leaders are talking about the need for innovation, however only 69% of employees believe the culture of their organisation actually welcomes new ideas. This result indicates there is a significant gap in organisations ‘walking the talk’ on innovation. Organisations that offer a tool for employees to contribute ideas have much better scores. Frustration was expressed when leaders said they wanted innovation but were not resourcing it. Management often give the illusion of wanting ideas, but then lack the skills to capture ideas in a simple way, give feedback and implement good ideas. In progressive organisations, innovation is part of the culture- a continuous process where employees are encouraged to suggest ideas. The Employee Innovation Survey was sent to about 2,000 employees, with 18% responding and volunteering extensive comments- see below. The full report on the results is here. Lynn Wood IdeaSpies Enterprise, ph 0418 966 625 lynn.wood@IdeaSpies.com

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Do you want to be the internal champion for innovation?

Do you want to be the internal champion for innovation?

The best source of innovation is employees If you want to be an internal champion for innovation look around you. You can encourage useful ideas from your colleagues. Recent research has shown that over 90% of employees believe they are the best source of innovation with 57% strongly agreeing and 34% agreeing The purpose of the survey was to determine if employees have a voice in helping their organisations succeed. Innovation was defined simply in the survey as “implementation of ideas that add value”. When asked what would make it easier for them to contribute ideas the top response was 45% wanting a software tool/digital platform that’s easy to use. David Thodey AO, Chair of CSIRO and Jobs for NSW, said “I really like the IdeaSpies Enterprise solution. I have a strong view that the best source of innovation is your staff. They know the business and how to improve it better than consultants. The issue has always been how do you provide an open forum for those ideas?” The Employee Innovation Survey was sent to about 2,000 employees, with 18% responding and volunteering extensive comments. The full report on the results is here. Lynn Wood IdeaSpies Enterprise, ph 0418 966 625 lynn.wood@IdeaSpies.com

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Are you concerned about people resigning?

Employees would be more likely to stay if they could contribute more ideas  IdeaSpies Enterprise, a platform for ideas that will improve business performance, has revealed the results of an Employee Innovation Survey. A key finding is that over 90% of employees would be more likely to stay with their organisations if they could contribute more ideas. Significantly, 98% of lower management would be more likely to stay. Losing employees who want to contribute more would be a significant cost to these organisations. The purpose of the survey was to determine if employees have a voice in helping their organisations succeed. Innovation was defined simply in the survey as “implementation of ideas that add value”. There are many employee engagement surveys but not employee innovation surveys. The survey results also show that employees want more power to implement ideas they suggest. They want management to be more supportive in testing ideas. 23% said nothing happened with their ideas and many were annoyed when time was spent developing an idea and either they weren’t empowered to test it, or they received no feedback on why it wouldn’t be accepted. Feedback was shown to be important in building employee engagement. Frustration was expressed when organisations said they wanted innovation but were not resourcing it. Management often give the illusion of wanting ideas, but then lack the skills to capture ideas in a simple way, give feedback and implement good ideas. Tony Nimac Partner in charge of KPMG Enterprise NSW said “We trialled IdeaSpies Enterprise last year and have continued to use it. It was very well received by staff. It’s thought provoking, fun and easy to use, with no training needed. People see the tool as an opportunity to suggest ideas that could improve the way they work. In addition to specific ideas, we’ve seen themes coming from the ideas that have led to improvements. We give selected staff the opportunity to implement ideas they suggest and have benefited from improving staff engagement.” The Employee Innovation Survey was sent to about 2,000 employees, with 18% responding and volunteering extensive comments. A full report on the results is here. Lynn Wood Chief Idea Spy lynn.wood@IdeaSpies.com IdeaSpies Enterprise  

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Innovation isn’t just a word. You need to do something.

A software tool/digital platform that’s easy to use would make it easier for your staff to contribute ideas. A recent Employee Innovation Survey asked employees what would make it easier for them to contribute ideas. The top response was 45% wanting a software tool/digital platform that’s easy to use, with lower management particularly in favour at 59% as well as organisations with 5,000 plus employees at 64%. Only 26% of employees said that their organisations offer a software tool/digital platform to contribute ideas, including 41% of organisations with 5,000 plus employees. When an innovation tool is provided, 75% of employees use it, males 81% and females 68%. David Thodey AO, Chair of CSIRO and Jobs for NSW, said “I really like the IdeaSpies Enterprise solution. I have a strong view that the best source of innovation is your staff. They know the business and how to improve it better than consultants. The issue has always been how do you provide an open forum for those ideas?” The purpose of the survey was to determine if employees have a voice in helping their organisations succeed. Innovation was defined simply in the survey as “implementation of ideas that add value”. The Employee Innovation Survey was sent to about 2,000 employees, with 18% responding and volunteering extensive comments. A full report on the results with charts and comments is now being prepared. Please contact me if you’d like to receive it and/or would like information about IdeaSpies Enterprise. Lynn Wood ph +61 418 966 625 lynn.wood@IdeaSpies.com IdeaSpies Enterprise

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Idea capture tools encourage useful ideas from staff

A software tool/digital platform that’s easy to use would make it easier for your staff to contribute ideas. A recent Employee Innovation Survey asked employees what would make it easier for them to contribute ideas. The top response was 45% wanting a software tool/digital platform that’s easy to use, with lower management particularly in favour at 59% as well as organisations with 5,000 plus employees at 64%. Only 26% of employees said that their organisations offer a software tool/digital platform to contribute ideas, including 41% of organisations with 5,000 plus employees. When an innovation tool is provided, 75% of employees use it, males 81% and females 68%. David Thodey AO, Chair of CSIRO and Jobs for NSW, said “I really like the IdeaSpies Enterprise solution. I have a strong view that the best source of innovation is your staff. They know the business and how to improve it better than consultants. The issue has always been how do you provide an open forum for those ideas?” The purpose of the survey was to determine if employees have a voice in helping their organisations succeed. Innovation was defined simply in the survey as “implementation of ideas that add value”. The Employee Innovation Survey was sent to about 2,000 employees, with 18% responding and volunteering extensive comments. A full report on the results with charts and comments is now being prepared. Please contact me if you’d like to receive it and/or would like information about IdeaSpies Enterprise. Lynn Wood ph +61 418 966 625 lynn.wood@IdeaSpies.com IdeaSpies Enterprise  

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