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Bringing Innovation to Standard Tasks

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Many houses were donning the holiday spirit with twinkling lights and joyous decorations. But none could compare to one student’s vast display of creativity and vision.

Jonathon Reinhart, an electrical and computer engineering major at the University of Dayton, decided to create a holiday light show aimed to entertain his fellow students in 2009. Turned out, his creation captured the attention of tens of thousands on YouTube, creating a sensation that is in high demand on campus. Below is his inaugural light show from that year:

The video below shows that his project had vastly expanded. His design covered two houses, utilized 13,500 lights, and had 96 channels of computer control deming. Watch the video below of his display:

While we don’t necessarily expect you to turn your office into a spectacular light show, there are still valuable lessons that can be taken from Reinhart’s innovation.

As any year comes to a close, you may have begun to notice some projects in your office that could use some rejuvenation. If so, make the decision now to bring about new innovation. This innovation doesn’t have to be new technology. That’s a trap that plenty of people fall into. Simply tweaking processes can sometimes be enough to bring about new life on an otherwise dying system.

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© Flickr user Jeremy Mikkola

Business News Daily wrote an article on ways to innovate in the workplace. A few things they note have major value to this topic.

With any long-term business goal, it’s easy to get bogged down by day-to-day tasks and lose sight of the bigger picture. In the case of innovation, it’s even more important that leaders learn to stay focused on this continuing goal and encourage their team to do the same.

“Leaders need to break the routine,” said Jim Welch, chief product officer of workforce management solutions provider Kronos. “At Kronos, we hold quarterly innovation days, where employees get together and think about new ideas and solutions for our customers. These days serve as a reminder that innovation should be happening every day, and it gives employees a refreshed perspective of their work.”

Welch reminded leaders that when they achieve a goal, it’s not the time to slow down or slack off. Continue to focus on customer-driven needs and solutions to ensure that the innovative process doesn’t wane, he said.

“Companies may become complacent once they meet strategic and financial goals,” Welch said. “Never underestimate your competitors, big or small, and always be thinking about how to leverage the latest technologies for your solutions.”

What Welch brings up is hugely important. His company has found a way to innovate that doesn’t involve bringing new technology into the picture. Rather it’s as simple as taking the time to encourage innovation and provide employees with the space to think in that manner. This may seem like an overly simple solution, but it can be an extremely effective one.

He also talks about getting complacent. That’s easy to do, whether it’s in hanging your Christmas lights or meeting sales goals. Thinking that you’ve done the work you need to do after achieving a certain standard is a common way to settle, but it’s the start of a dying workforce. Don’t create a culture that promotes settling. Create a culture where employees are always trying to reach another level.

If you don’t know where to begin, consider reaching out to our business process improvement consultants. Take the time now to think outside the box and discover ways to spark energy into a lagging process. You may just find that combining bright ideas together can turn the light at the end of the tunnel into a spectacular show.

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