Few would argue that over the past ten years the pace of change has increased significantly in business. Now more than ever, businesses need to be ready to respond to customers at the time and place that is most convenient for the customer. Customers want to be treated as individuals, want a personalised service, and want to buy products and services to meet their individual needs. In such a fast moving and dynamic economy, successful organisations recognise that innovation comes from all levels of the organisation – senior management have no monopoly on ideation and innovation!
A recent study by IBM showed that CEOs in Mid Market organisations recognise this shift. The study showed that CEOs also recognise a pressure for openness and transparency within their organisations. The study concludes that employees need to be empowered to collaborate and innovate, and stresses the importance of shared organisational values.
This pressure for continuing innovation, with a backdrop of openness is extremely significant. Many organisations are built (either intentionally or unintentionally) around policies, mandates and rules. Employees follow procedures and processes, and in some organisations, anyone challenging or questioning those policies might be considered as troublemakers. In some organisations, any kind of variation from the mandated procedure is severely frowned upon (even if it’s in the customer’s and business’ best interest!).