SmartIdeas – fanning the spark of innovation

Innovation is a key KPI for Smartgroup and we have some aggressive goals in maturing this capability throughout 2014. In preparation, last year we formalised the ideas pipeline, integrated it into Salesforce and renamed it SmartIdeas. We’ve also invested in innovation with two dedicated Innovation Champions to drive the program – Joelle Jenner and Jess Sorrasson (image L-R).

SmartIdeas helps to drive recognition and awareness amongst all of our employees that innovation is something we’re all capable of and is critical to any organisation’s ongoing success and growth. And it’s not just about game-changing big ideas – small, continual innovative improvements are just as important.

We’ve set a goal of implementing 100 ideas this year. To hit that we’ll probably need to generate at least twice that figure but this has the added advantage of demonstrating to employees that there’s a good chance their idea will be implemented.

We’re knocking it out of the park already! We’ve implemented in excess of 28 ideas in the last couple of months and we’re well on track to reach our goal of 100 ideas.

ImageOur employees are really energised and engaged by the process and our Innovation Champions are recording and enabling ideas at a rapid pace. Jess says the reason she loves being an Innovation Champion is that she gets to make ideas a reality and work on some amazing projects: “To be able to tell a colleague that their idea will be implemented and rolled out to the rest of the company is incredibly empowering and makes me feel like I’m just helping to make everyone’s life easier.”

Many of the ideas are currently focused internally and are operations based. As the year proceeds we’ll look to implement ideas more widely across the business and introduce some targeted customer feedback sessions.

Joelle says she loves bringing the innovation spark to life and keeps a Nelson Mandela quote in mind: “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

And next month is InnoMAYtion, a whole month dedicated to learning about great innovators of the past and open everyone’s minds to their own inner innovator.

Thanks to Jess and Joelle for being such a positive driving force!


Deven Billimoria
Chief Executive Officer
Smartgroup

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