Feature Article - May/June 2011

Inspiring Innovation

Building Competitiveness by Increasing Creativity & Innovation

By Rick Dandes

In today's turbulent, post-recessionary business environment, organizations need to figure out how to optimize employee productivity and ignite morale after the devastating impact of the recession—while facing the ongoing challenge of capturing market share in the face of vigorous competition from all corners of the globe and the Internet.

Innovation is the main driver for increased competitiveness and superior economic performance, according to marketing experts. And using reward and recognition programs to encourage a workforce to generate those new ideas and come up with creative solutions to existing problems can be a key factor in turning around a company's profitability in this new economy.

Innovation is how you save time, and how you reduce steps in any workflow process. It's absolutely critical because it reduces cost, and usually increases the ability to respond more quickly to your customer.

If there isn't innovation, if management employees just maintain the status quo, then as a company you'll likely be left behind by your faster-changing competitors.

Indeed, the world around is changing faster than ever before, and there is little separation between our work and personal environment, explained Richard A Blabolil, president, Marketing Innovators International Inc., in Rosemont, Ill. "Every company must infuse innovation into its culture to adapt and grow," he said.

"In my opinion," added Michelle M. Smith, vice president of business development at O. C. Tanner, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, "innovation is the lifeblood of a company's vitality and sustainability, and it can play an especially important role as we move forward in rebuilding our organizations and our economy."