The Self-Directed Individual Innovation Project

In many of our design thinking training sessions and innovation workshops, we challenge participants to create their own innovation initiative for their organization or program that is for an individual employee. Some themes (or challenge questions) that keep coming up are:

How might we help everyone in our organization innovate the unique work they do?

How might I not only contribute to creating new ideas and innovation for my organization, but also innovate our processes in our organization?

How might we do something similar to Google’s famous “20% time” where each employee has a 20% project that they initiate and is self-directed? They may not dedicate 20% of their time to this (nor do the people at Google), but you get the picture. What if they could identify their own innovation project that they could develop?

Innovation Project Program

We customize this workshop for your group. Here’s a possible title and description.

Possible Workshop Title: Empowering Innovation at Every Level

Background: In today’s rapidly changing business environment and “VUCA world,” it is more important than ever for organizations to foster a culture of innovation. However, many organizations struggle to empower their employees to innovate and come up with new ideas. That’s where our Empowering Innovation at Every Level workshop comes in.

This workshop is designed to provide employees at all levels of the organization with the tools, techniques, and strategies they need to become self-directed innovators and create something new of value for their customers or co-workers. Through a combination of interactive exercises, discussions, and real-world demonstrations, participants will learn how to develop a mindset for innovation and how to identify and move forward on opportunities for innovation in their own work.

An innovation project experience not only advances the organization, but also advances the individual since it is a powerful vehicle for the individual’s learning and development. Participants will also learn how to take on an innovation project, which could involve solving a problem, taking on a challenge, or finding a way to do what they do better. They will learn how to generate and evaluate new ideas, develop and communicate a compelling concept, and get into action with their unique project.

This workshop values any employee in an organization innovating how they work and creating something new of value for their customers or co-workers. This involves solving a problem, taking on a challenge, or finding a way to do what they do better. This requires new ideas and action. It could be a small innovation or a large one. Each participant in the program will design their own Innovation Project as described below:

Starting YOUR Innovation Project

You may have a challenge in mind. Perhaps you have some innovative ideas and you just need to know where to start.

Here are 20 ideas for innovation projects for different purposes that employees in organizations, especially managers, could undertake:

Innovation Project IdeasDescription
1. Process improvement projectIdentify a process that needs improvement and develop a plan to streamline it.
2. Cost-saving projectFind ways to reduce costs in a particular area of the organization without compromising quality.
3. Customer satisfaction projectDevelop a plan to improve customer satisfaction with the organization’s products or services.
4. Product or service enhancement projectBrainstorm ways to enhance a product or service to better meet customer needs.
5. Employee engagement projectDevelop strategies to improve employee engagement and satisfaction in the workplace.
6. Marketing and branding projectDevelop a marketing campaign to enhance the organization’s brand and reputation.
7. Sustainability projectDevelop and implement strategies to make the organization more environmentally sustainable.
8. New product development projectIdentify a gap in the market and develop a new product to fill it.
9. Talent management projectDevelop strategies to attract, develop, and retain talented employees.
10. Innovation culture projectDevelop strategies to create an innovative culture within the organization.
11. Collaboration projectIdentify opportunities for collaboration between departments or with external partners.
12. Technology implementation projectDevelop a plan to implement new technology that will improve efficiency or effectiveness.
13. Workplace safety projectDevelop strategies to improve workplace safety and reduce accidents.
14. Training and development projectDevelop a plan to provide training and development opportunities for employees.
15. Supply chain optimization projectDevelop a plan to optimize the organization’s supply chain and reduce costs.
16. Diversity and inclusion projectDevelop strategies to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
17. Crisis management projectDevelop a plan to manage and respond to potential crises within the organization.
18. Strategic planning projectDevelop a long-term strategic plan for the organization.
19. Social responsibility projectDevelop strategies to enhance the organization’s social responsibility and impact.
20. Employee wellness projectDevelop strategies to improve employee health and wellness in the workplace.

If you’re grappling with these conflicts, or just don’t know how to begin, you’re not alone. Our practical innovation workshop is designed to help you unlock your creativity and problem-solving skills, bolster your motivation, and move your ideas into action. You will be guided by an expert who will help you frame your challenge and generate ideas that truly align with your needs and interests. You will have the opportunity to prototype and test, taking your ideas from concept to reality with your guide keeping you focused, moving forward, and on track to succeed.

While not every innovation project will result in a new product, service or business, our tools and techniques will enable you to confidently approach any challenge.  This workshop will empower you, or your team, to reach your full innovation potential.

The workshop can cover the following topics:

  • The importance of innovation in today’s business environment
  • Developing a mindset for innovation and overcoming common barriers to innovation
  • Identifying and evaluating opportunities for innovation in your own work
  • Generating and evaluating new ideas
  • Developing and communicating a compelling innovation concept
  • Prototyping and testing to move forward on your innovation project

By the end of the innovation project program, participants will have a clear understanding of how to become a self-directed innovator and how to create something new of value in their own work. They will be empowered to take on an innovation project and to contribute to a culture of innovation in their organization.

If you want to empower your team to innovate at every level, contact us today to learn more about our Empowering Innovation at Every Level workshop.

Find out what format is best for you and your team (in person, virtually or self-paced online),