Last summer during a record-setting weekend for heat in the greater LA area, my home’s A/C unit crashed – which led to a period of unwelcomed perspiration. Ironically, I was reading a book on inventions and innovation at the time, which included the history of Carrier Air Conditioning.
In business, I’ve found inspiration comes from leadership, from rank-and-file employees, or both. In the case of Willis Carrier, he didn’t just fall out of bed one day and invent air conditioning. It was a process in which his employer at the time had to solve a client problem. The client’s business was printing, located in the east, and the humidity in the air at their plant’s drying room created several challenges. Downtime and slow processes cost money. So, they turned to the engineering firm which employed Carrier at the time. He was assigned to the account and was inspired to find a way to fix the problem. After months of trial and error, he conceived an innovation. Historically, that one small step, to dehumidify and control air temperatures in one small room of a printing plant, eventually lead to a billion dollar industry. And subsequently the creature comfort that many of us take for granted (until the A/C crashes).
So what’s my point? We find that every company has latent talent, just waiting to be inspired, but without a reason or the motivation to be “innovative.” Leaders of companies who expect “innovation” and adopt it a as a core value, stay in front. Leaders who recognize and reward for fresh thinking, problem solving, and innovation retain talent. They maintain a thriving culture and workplace, enhance customer relationships, realize increased profits, and delight their stakeholders.
If considering a fresh approach to employee recognition, include KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) around innovation and problem solving. Because every employee has the potential to be an innovator, resulting in cost savings or revenue growth. Contact us today to discuss your situation – we offer no-cost consultation. Let’s Rally.