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Does Your Team Celebrate Innovation Day?

Innovation is important to every business. In fact, one could argue that innovation is the business of business. But if business is supposed to be so darn innovative, why don’t project teams devote more time to formulating groundbreaking ideas? In his post for PM Hut, Jim Anderson posits a solution that might just put your project team on the map creatively. His idea? – start a monthly holiday: an Innovation Day.

I Declare Innovation Day!

Imagine one day per month when the entire team silences their cell phones, closes their email accounts, and puts their thinking into collective brainstorm mode. That could be a challenge, as Anderson acknowledges:

Your job as an IT manager is to create an environment in which innovation can happen – you can’t actually make it happen. Think of this as sort of an innovation-based IT team building exercise.

The Perfect Brainstorm

Establishing the ideal conditions for IT innovation is like manipulating weather to create the “perfect brainstorm.” A great way to set the tone is to play a game. Suppose each team member talks about their project likes and dislikes. This could easily cascade into a discussion about how to bridge a common team motivation with company objective X, or how to solve a collective problem with solution Y.

Of course, you don’t want Innovation Day to descend into mindless gossip or degenerate into a complain-o-fest. The idea is to sow the seeds of innovation through creating a space for collective dialogue. Go ahead, try it!

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About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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