Selling Process Innovation in Organizations

 

Selling InnovationWhen selling innovation in organizations, especially process innovation, there are a number of things that can be done to ease the stress of getting buy in from others in the organization.

  • Having a reputation of being innovative
  • Being respect of your fellow co-workers
  • Having the eyes and ears of senior executives
  • Knowing how processes currently work in your organization

 

Bringing innovation as a new person to the organization and/or team is even more burdensome. Here are some tips for becoming more successful in bringing in innovation

  • Get to know the current processes

Understanding the current process and having it diagrammed out is a great place to start. Doing so can illustrate how life can be better once the new processes are in place. Sometimes this exposes discrepancies between the stated processes and what is actually being followed. Understanding the current processes and why they were put in place helps to understand the major challenges and issues for those involved. Sometimes putting the current process on paper and showing how lengthy or how many people are affected by/feed into these processes can alter people’s perspective of how much change is required.

 

  • Get to know the people working on the current process and listen to them

People inherently don’t like change imposed upon them especially by people that don’t know why they do what they do. Get to know how they work and why they do what they do.  People doing a job on a daily basis know how to improve their jobs – they need to be given the time and forum to bring their recommendations forward.

Understanding the existing process owners’ challenges, ideas and terminology are essential to framing innovation to them in ways that will enable them to feel part of the process and accepted change more readily.  Bringing in innovation  (especially process innovation) successfully is about the people involved. Technology can be a great enabler for bringing in change but at the end of the day it’s people who implement ideas and process changes. Speaking the same language and building trust with current process owners can speed up adoption drastically.

  • Understand the stakeholders

There will always be individuals that have a vested interest in seeing that things do not change. They may be outside of the current process team. They may be people that have already tried to bring in innovation and weren’t as successful. They may be vendors who have a vested interest in maintaining old processes and technology already in place. They may be people in other departments.

Even stakeholders without decision making authority can still be influencers. These influencers still possess power. They can make introducing innovation much easier or much more difficult. Listening to key stakeholders, understanding and addressing their issues are just as important as selling to senior executives and actual process holders.

Persistence is essential with innovation and introducing change. Keep in mind that change almost always takes longer to happen than you think it will.