Innovate or Die, that’s the Future

At Iridia, values play a role in everything we do. We are constantly evaluating ourselves, our strategy and our goals; all to align with our core company values.

We strive to bring our core values alive and at the forefront of business. We encourage employees to think about what they do in the context of those values. We ask questions, make decisions, and conduct business in a way that reflects those values.

Innovation is one area where we keep our employees on their toes. It also happens to be one of our eight core values.

The number one thing you will ask – “how are you building an innovative environment at Iridia?”

Innovate or Die

Understand that thinking innovatively isn’t exactly a natural “go-to” mindset for most. Rather, we strive to cultivate this philosophy through education and an “all hands on board” approach.

For example, one way we approach this hurdle is by setting aside time for a presentation on a new innovative tool every staff meeting.

In as little as 5 minutes, one of our employees will share a presentation with the entire staff on an app, website etc., which they have found to be innovative. We call this the Innovation Corner.

So far a pretty awesome selection of tools has been brought forward:

  • Wordle – Generates word clouds
  • Prezi – Cloud based presentation software
  • TinyURL – URL shortening service
  • 99designs – Crowdsourcing platform
  • DropBox – Cloud based storage and sharing
  • Join.me – Simple screen sharing software
  • Doodle – Online meeting scheduler
  • Elance – Talent sourcing site
  • Clik – Smartphone screen controller
  • Camtasia – Video creation software
  • OneNote – Note taking software
  • Flipboard – A social magazine aggregator
  • Chrome Web Store – App store in your browser

Many of our staff have embraced these tools after watching a short Innovation Corner presentation, but none more so than Prezi.

Innovate or Die

How can we say we are innovative if we are still using dated (*snore) PowerPoint software? …We can’t!

We are doing away with PowerPoint entirely; going forward all our staff will be trained in Prezi. No more boring presentations around this office.

Another one of the ways we have encouraged our staff to think innovation first is through our company tablets.

Our tablets (an iPad and a Kindle) are available to sign-out for employees to enjoy at home or at work. Employees can use these devices to read our through our TED eBook library or our magazine subscriptions to Inc, Harvard Business Review or Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Staff can also use the tablets to assist in their presentations as well. 

We have given our employees the tools they need for innovative thinking, because as the world evolves, so must we. 

“Innovate or die” is the battle cry of modern business, and Iridia is making innovation part of its life blood in order to stay healthy and vibrant in these changing times.

Innovation Corner – SignNow

SignNow

During our June staff meeting we profiled an app called SignNow.

SignNow is the easiest way to sign a document anywhere you go. You can sign your own documents, or invite clients to sign and close contracts.

To learn more have a look at the Prezi we created to show the app to our staff:

SignNow

What is the Innovation Corner?

Every month, the whole Iridia team gets together for staff meeting. During the meeting, we discuss a variety of topics from our diverse organization. For the past year we have added a topic to the agenda – the Innovation Corner.

Innovation is one of our eight core values at Iridia, values we strive to live every day. It’s one thing to say “hey, innovation is a corporate value of ours,” but it’s another to live it.

We are always keeping our sharp eyes on the lookout; finding creative ways to fit pieces together. In order to “fit pieces together,” we need to do things more efficiently and, if possible, with the use of new tools.

The Innovation Corner is a brief (5 min.) section of the agenda dedicated to the introduction of a story, a tool, a concept, or anything else that might spur on innovation within our team.  Anyone can lay claim to the Innovation Corner in upcoming meetings, and thereby use it to share an innovative find they have come across.

“This effort has already brought forward tools that have been put to immediate use in our business operations.  In seeing how these insights have made a difference for us, we’ve decided to take time out and share them with a broader audience.” – Iridia President

Stay tuned for future updates from the Innovative Corner!

Innovation is the Future

Innovation is the Future

Innovation is the Future

We’re big on innovation at Iridia. In fact, it’s so important we’ve built it right in to our annual performance evaluations. That’s right, along with teamwork, quality, dependability, flexibility, and many of the other performance indicators you’d find on a typical annual review, we’ve added innovation as a performance criteria.

That means when managers sit down with employees to talk about their year, one of the things they review is what efforts the employee made to innovate in their role at Iridia. Did they bring new ideas to the table? Did they implement something that made them more efficient or effective? Did they find ways to use technology to improve productivity or performance? Were they able to look at a problem or challenge and come up with an innovative solution?

Innovation is part of the DNA at Iridia. We talk about it all the time. In fact, at every staff meeting we have a standing agenda item called the Innovation Corner. Each month someone brings an innovative idea to share with the group. We’ve shared things like Dropbox, Prezi, Wordle, Tiny URL, 99 Designs and many more ideas that keep people engaged with technology and the idea that innovation is an important part of what they do every day.

In the previous post on lifelong learning, we talked about the importance of continued learning because it changes the way we think, feel, and behave. So it is with innovation. As the world changes rapidly, we must constantly be thinking of new ways to improve our productivity, better serve our clients, manage our resources (both capital and human), and solve problems.

“Innovate or die” is the battle cry of modern business, and Iridia is making innovation part of its life blood in order to stay healthy and vibrant in these changing times.