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It's true – innovation is a huge buzzword and we are all aware. Craig Lambert describes it as being "...bandied around a bit like a Miss Universe contestant talking about world peace." While the idea of innovation is tossed around and misused, it doesn't mean businesses can't or shouldn't be innovative, but rather the opposite: businesses need to embrace creativity and exciting new ways to connect with customers.
It is important to know the two relevant types of innovation in order to start thinking outside of the box and reaching your business potential.
The two main types of innovation are:
1. Sustained: Innovation that maintains and evolves established markets.
2. Disruptive: Innovation that creates new markets and fresh values.
How Can Your Business Succeed With Innovation?
In order to be successful as a business, your business must have a clear and focused 'Power House.' Think of your business's house as having four rooms that are the key foundations of a successful business. These four rooms include:
1. Vision – a clear strategy.
2. IQ – a smart intellectual focus.
3. Body – a physical energy and presence.
4. EQ - its interpersonal connections.
These four rooms are critical to building a sustainable, commercially viable company – when they are all working together they provide a strong profit power loop. For example:
• If you have a clear vision and stick to it you should eventually reach your goals. Without clarity of vision of a phone that also played music and allowed you to surf the web, Apple would never have created the iPhone.
• Intellectual focus involve taking small but crucial improvements to your products or services that can win over customers and keep your company fresh. Dyson failed over 5,000 times before he and his vacuum cleaners reached huge success.
• The physical energy that your business creates in visual forms such as branding and marketing is essential to make a positive first impression. If you can win over eyes, you can win over customers.
• Finally without emotional intelligence and having the ability to connected with staff, customers and stakeholders on a personal level you will not enjoy repeat business and good will. You should want to connect to your customers and this is the biggest reason you are being innovative. Serve your customers and find success.
Innovation is About the Big Picture
Once you've got your house in order you can start building upon your solid foundation you can begin to focus on raising your roof to become more and more successful. Your focus is to find ways to improve your product or business practices in such a way that serves your customers and keeps them connected with you as a brand. Innovation isn’t about innovating for the sake of innovation, nor is it about throwing money at the latest trend, gadget or radio advertisement, rather innovating should always be focused on helping your end-customer and servicing their needs and wants. With the foundations in place you then have the clear air space to create some really unique and memorable experiences that will ensure your business is remembered, respected and referred.
Want to know more about how you can create a culture of innovation in your team or business? Contact us to ask about our affordable, fun workshops firstname.lastname@example.org
Open plan offices with cubicle partitions were created in the 1950s to encourage communication and boost teamwork. It’s a trend that is still in fashion, but a recent study has revealed that this type of environment attracts higher levels of staff dissatisfaction.
The Downside Of Open Plan Working Outweighs The Benefits
Working in an open plan office has its benefits, especially if you love to take regular breaks to share hilarious tales of your life from the weekend. But it’s this type of distraction that could affect staff productivity and satisfaction levels.
The study, conducted by the University of Sydney, involved analysis of 42,764 survey samples collected in 303 office buildings across the globe. Noise and lack of privacy and space were the top gripes.
Professor Richard de Dear, Head of Architectural Design Science at the University of Sydney and a co-author of the research paper, said worker satisfaction was important because it was linked to productivity.
“The productivity benefits of teams working together have been used to sell the open plan office for decades. Yet, if you do these evaluations and actually talk to occupants of open plan offices, very few people think that they are productive spaces. You need places to concentrate.”
A Better Way Of Working
New to the 21st century, savvy companies are bucking the antiquated open plan trend to create an Activity-Based Work Culture.
When the Commonwealth Bank moved its headquarters in 2011, it used the opportunity to change the way their employees worked day to day.
The Bank’s Chief Financial Officer, David Craig explained: “Activity-based working recognises there is a spectrum of work styles and demands and that each day, people will have different activities to complete requiring varying levels of concentration or collaboration.”
In an activity-based working environment, employees aren’t necessarily stuck to the same desk. It recognises that sometimes they’ll need quiet time to focus. Sometimes they’ll need access to technology and sometimes they’ll need to brainstorm or share tasks with others.
At places like the CommBank’s headquarters, there are quiet, enclosed spaces, open spaces for collaboration, and areas for formal and informal meetings. Employees choose where to set up for the day, the morning or afternoon according to what type of work they need to do.
“Activity-based working delivers the working environment and tools for staff to choose different work styles to suit their work activities. It is about empowering them and engaging,” Craig said.
Your Environment Affects Your Psychology
Your physical environment has a huge impact on your brand, your culture, and how your business is perceived (by employees and customers alike). At an individual level, it affects how people carry out their work, how they feel, and how well they perform.
Take a look around your workplace now. Does it scream efficiency and precision? Does it encourage creativity and innovation? Does it feel fun, cosy, or friendly? Does it have dedicated spaces to cater for different activities?
Every day the UQ Power team visit organisations from a range of industries and we see a lot of desks. We can usually tell straight away what the appearance of a desk says about the desk owner and the company culture of the organisation. See for yourself here - http://www.uqpower.com.au/_blog/desk-a-day
Trip hazards, dust, and cosy spots for spiders are not the only things that clutter creates in the workplace. Clutter at work, and at home, has a huge impact on your psyche.
Cluttered workspace = cluttered mind
The chaotic assortment of waste, unused items, and important workplace tools of trade can make you feel overwhelmed, unable to cope, and resentful. More than just a mess, a cluttered workspace negatively affects worker productivity and creativity and it has been known to increase stress levels.
When the chaos reaches a certain level it’s not the mess that’s the problem, but the impact of the mess on the people living with it. Dr Olivia Wynne B Psych, PhD Psych (Science and Psychoneuroimmunology) explains research has revealed that clutter can adversely affect your mindset.“Our senses once stimulated with something familiar can trigger memories of past experiences. This includes feeling all the emotions attached to that memory,” Dr Wynne said. “If you’re office was once a neat and tidy haven, but is now a chaotic mess because your workload has increased, it’s likely you’ll always feel ‘busy’, behind and overwhelmed.”
On the flipside, a well organised workspace shows signs of pride and professionalism. It improves productivity and can even enhance creativity and communication.
Not all clutter is bad however. Boost your mood by decorating your space with items you cherish such as a family photo or a trinket you bought while on holidays. Their presence, and your attachment to them, will help you to feel at home, relaxed, and inspired.
Feeling drained and uninspired? Is it time to declutter your workspace?
What does your desk say about you?
Here at UQ Power, we visit a lot of organisations and we see a lot of desks. We can usually tell straight away what the appearance of a desk says about the desk owner and the company culture of the organisation.
In our Desk a Day Challenge we analyse the desks of our readers. We’ve seen some wide-ranging examples of office spaces – from the minimalistic look with barely a pen out of place, to the disorganised and cluttered.
We know everyone prefers to work in different ways, and that ‘having a tidy desk’ can be interpreted differently depending on your propensity for clutter. However the environment of an office is a critical factor to successfully building trust, collaboration and communication in a workplace. What does your desk say about how you and your business operates?
Send in a photo to us at UQ Power and we will analyse what is says about your company culture.
Are you that person who drags themselves out of bed and sniffles and coughs their way through the day just so you can be seen to be putting in the hours? As a leader, are you fostering a culture that values work output over the health of your staff?
All too often the culture of a workplace is all about putting your head down and working hard. A culture that overlooks employee health can have staggering effects on business output.
Employee health can impact your business bottom line
The number one health issue in Australian workplaces is stress, the second is workplace safety and the third is depression and anxiety.
Research published by the Australia and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry found that presenteeism (when employees continue turning up for work but their productivity and effectiveness is reduced due to illness) is eating away at company profits and costs Australian businesses almost $6 billion in lost productivity each year.
Isn’t it time we changed our workplace culture and started to value the health of our employees as much as we value profit and productivity?
Create a culture of workplace wellness
Think about how you feel when you have a cold. You brain is muddled and stuffy, and you are sniffling and sneezing (which doesn’t exactly project a professional image) so it’s no wonder that everyday tasks seem more taxing than usual. No one does their best work when they’re sick.
Unhealthy high-pressure cultures are detrimental to workplace wellness and leave employees feeling stressed. Stress can manifest itself in a number of ways, most of which can lead to employees needing extra time off work, reduced productivity, low morale, and high staff turnover.
Build a “healthy” workplace culture and encourage staff to maintain a reasonable work/life balance. How do you build a healthy workplace culture? Here are a just a few ideas:
To truly let your company’s UQ Power shine through, your employees need to be in tip top physical shape. If they’re not feeling fully in tune, how can you expect them to perform at their best? As Buddha said: