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I was asked recently to share from my experience about

How do you encourage employees to be creative and innovative?

This is just a bit about what we’ve learned and what we do at RedBalloon.

My thinking being that there is good and better, and it is a never ending journey to being great. It is a destination that is not reached it is a journey of innovation. Even greatness can be improved upon.

We have a culture of celebration and recognition of innovation. Quoted from the RedBalloon Wiki on the innovation awards:
“To celebrate the ingenuity and efficiency of ideas generated from the team we have our innovation and efficiency awards. You may see things that in your perspective OR from the customers perspective that we should:

    • 1.Stop doing


    • 2.Start doing


    3.Continue doing …


  • Relevance – does it really matter, will it make a difference to the plan, are customers effected.
  • Be Specific – ask yourself who, what, when, where, how and why?
  • Address the root cause not the symptom – ask why
  • Focus on the what not the who”

This has really worked for us – each of the entries is posted on wiki and as the ideas progress the innovator is kept up to date. It is very transparent so people know that they got heard.

Of course we celebrate these ideas with points towards RedBalloon experiences. (We use the RedBalloon online points technology for this – we do practice what we preach.)

What is your best tip for creating an innovative culture?

Because we have a culture of innovation, good/better rather than good/bad – there is never a shortage of ideas. The trick is being able to choose the best ideas and swiftly and effectively implementing them 110%. Keeping people involved and seeing the deliverables is critical to generating more ideas.

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