Six best innovation practices to engage Millennials and Gen Zers

All businesses are created first by ideas. Then, once you are in business, you need new thinking for design, engineering, radical improvement, manufacturing, marketing, advertising, problem-solving, customer retention, etc. Often the difference between success or failure in business is a simple idea.

On the one hand, many corporations have limited resources, funds, and time to give creative dreamers sufficient power to produce breakthrough ideas. On the other hand, other companies have many ideas, but are short on ways to assess, screen, prioritise, leverage and execute them.

Disciplined and well-managed creativity breeds successful idea generation and cross-pollination. Idea management systems and processes can help your company make innovation a discipline. They can help make the hunt for new possibilities each and every department’s business, as well as involving broader and more enthusiastic participation among managers and employees.

As we have seen, building a collaborative innovation culture comes hand in hand with conquering Millennials and Generation Z. This means you not only have to promote innovative thinking in your organisation, but also have to get a feel and touch in your corporate culture that inspire and retain these new generations.

Finally, remember as well the following six best practices:

  • Have strong leadership and role modelling
  • Promote regular learning
  • Give employees self-improvement possibilities
  • Create free time for interests and new ideas
  • Encourage and reward ideas and creativity
  • Do not forget mobile and flexible platforms to reach employees

Any organisation’s most valuable resource is its people. That being so, the capacity to obtain and inspire the best, most innovative and competent employees and to attract the leaders of tomorrow is the ultimate key for your company’s success.

FROM THE START:
Loyalty is no longer enough to both employers and the workforce

Aylin Olsun, managing partner of ASO Company
Diana Neves de Carvalho, Exago’s CEO

Why is innovation management a powerful tool to engage Generations Y and Z

Large companies looking for creative and transforming ideas need to leverage innovation management to conquer employees, particularly Gen Zers and Millennials. Those leading must develop the mindset and organisational structures to empower these younger generations and help them reach full potential, while being part of their company’s evolution.

Being able to align an individual’s everyday work and goals clearly with the organisation’s strategy gets people to think in new ways and imagine new possibilities. It makes it easy for employees to see how their contributions matter.

An innovation management software can help you share your company’s vision and strategy, get people involved, and continuously find new answers, as change becomes constant. Additionally, by including evaluation mechanisms, these sophisticated platforms give the community the chance and means to assess, as a whole, the ideas presented – thus harnessing and activating your company’s collective intelligence.

Idea management software (such as Exago Smart) also promotes a collaborative culture, for individuals and the community, answering directly to the main needs and motivations of both Millennials and Generation Z, as the following table shows:

innovation management to engage generations y and z

As innovation becomes the natural way of doing business for both these generations, organisations should focus on gathering and maximising their potential. The greater challenge, however, lies in managing this process in an efficient, collaborative and transparent way, using technology as a bridge to make their voices and contributions a real part of the corporate evolutionary path.

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Six best innovation practices to engage Millennials and Gen Zers

FROM THE START:
Loyalty is no longer enough to both employers and the workforce

Aylin Olsun, managing partner of ASO Company
Diana Neves de Carvalho, Exago’s CEO

Welcome to our renewed mission, brand and product offering

We all sometimes feel the need or a resolve to explore and create new paths. At Exago, we’ll be celebrating our 1oth anniversary this year and understand it is the time for such evolution, so that we are fit to evolve with your business in the years ahead. As a result, we bring you:

• A new mission statement: we embrace the mission of making innovation come together, both by engaging everyone to collaborate and share the innovation challenge, and by delivering a powerful platform designed to find, improve and bring to life ideas with high potential for value creation.

• A new image: with our innovation management software fully conquering our core business, Exago is now the software, the people and the company. This fresh positioning has inspired a new brand and website, to introduce the best of us.

• A new product offer: after listening to our clients and market needs, we now deliver three software editions:

  • EXAGO SMART gives you advanced innovation performance. Based on our US-patented prediction markets algorithm, this platform efficiently gathers your company’s collective intelligence for smarter decision-making;
  • EXAGO OPEN will take your innovation programme beyond corporate walls, effectively engaging external stakeholders;
  • Arriving soon is EXAGO START, a swift innovation software for those taking the first steps into building an idea management programme.

Regardless of how much changes, our goal to help all our clients succeed in their innovation programme remains the same, and just got stronger.

Exago featured in Gartner’s “Market Guide for Innovation Management Tools 2017”

For the third consecutive year, the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company references Exago as one of the software providers with traction and visibility in the idea management industry. Exago reaches 100% depth of functionality in idea collection, refinement and review, idea portfolio management, idea execution, as well as mobile offer and user experience.

Gartner’s “Market Guide for Innovation Management Tools 2017” highlights Exago’s “comprehensive idea management process”, with the option to outsource screening with specific requirements, along with other platform management and advisory services. The report also emphasises how in the last year “Exago came up with a new release that introduced the ability to customize the idea workflow according to client’s innovation process and enhanced its reporting and UX capabilities”.

Even if innovation programmes can exist without this technology, Gartner says it can benefit them greatly: by focusing creativity in key business challenges, promoting engagement, easily structuring and managing each innovation stage and opening the innovation challenge to internal and external participants. The transformation to digital business is also “increasing IT leaders’ interest in software to support innovation initiatives”.

Gartner’s “Market Guide for Innovation Management Tools 2017” offers insightful market recommendations, harnessing the most complete data collection for industry members and prospective innovation software buyers. Exago was previously referenced in the guide’s 2015 and 2016 editions.

 

You can register for access to the research here.

 

Strategic cost-cutting is not dead, and we are here to prove it

Leaders with a clear vision tend to use cost-cutting and improvement to align costs with business strategy. The trend gained ground in the last decade, as world turmoil intensified and growth became a more elusive and complex goal to reach.

With low investments and rising risks, companies gamble on cost-cutting and improvement to ensure that they are prepared and equipped to grow stronger, as they wait for better times to come. In its 2013 third biennial cost survey, ‘Save to grow. Cost-improvement practices and trends in the Fortune 1000’, Deloitte underlined that cost-cutting was seen more and more as a ‘way to drive growth, rather than as way to survive or avoid insolvency’.

However, aggressive cost-cutting tactics under pressure will not salvage companies. The change has to go deeper, reaching a strategic level. This means that a company’s most valuable assets, people and their talents, must be mobilised, ‘consistent with a growth mindset, since having qualified workers and deploying them effectively is key to successful growth’, writes Deloitte.

In their recent paper, Exago’s CEO Diana Carvalho and our Sales Executive Andreia Dias show how a successful cost-cutting strategy is connected to the organisation’s capacity to evolve, to innovate, and to do it as whole. They explain how this process should start internally by capturing the wisdom of each employee, but how it can also reach external stakeholders, harnessing their potentially powerful insights, creating communities around the company and building communication bridges with clients and suppliers.

A successful cost-cutting and improvement strategy indeed helps companies lower costs, focus on the aspects of the business that are controllable and free up resources to fund transformation and future growth. And sustainable growth, by its essence, cannot exist without ongoing innovation. To make it work in your organisation, Andreia and Diana guide you through five major steps.

Feel free to reach us for the full paper at info@exago.com.