Like everything in business (and indeed life), if tasks, duties and projects whether they be a once-off or on-going, do not get formal treatment, they will not happen. What do I mean by formal treatment? By formal treatment I mean, we set a day, time and duration to discuss what is involved, what needs to happen and the resources, people and money needed to complete the specific item. Tasks and duties can be daily meetings, weekly meetings, monthly meetings and / or quarterly / annual meetings that are on-going ‘set-in-stone’ activities that have become part of our daily work life. Or they can be project-like, where the task / duty has a specific goal and has a specific start date and end date that could have a short or long time duration.
The tasks and duties are the things we must do to stay in business i.e. they are the Maintenance Tasks (for those of you who have studied Time Management Skills). The projects are what we call the Progress Tasks (in Time Management) and are nice to do, will help us and the business develop, enhance and grow. If they were not done, it might not cause the business to cease trading or go about of business.
When it comes to innovation and re-innovating how we do things in the business; how we can change customer mind-set; how we can increase customer foot-fall; how we can increase turnover and how we can make our business be a destination of choice by people, we have to think of innovation as a Maintenance Task. It has to be treated with formality and given a set time, set day at least once per month.
Staff are always innovating and changing how they and the business do business, but they do not see it as a key part of their job, it is informal. It probably is not part of their job description. You as a business leader in your organisation or as part of a team, have to treat innovation as a task, duty, and / or project. Give it formality, give it a life-form, give it a department name, give it a leader to run and manage it and tangible benefits will follow…guaranteed…