11 steps to innovate in your workplace
We know that times are tough in fundraising. More than ever in a rapidly changing world, falling response rates in traditional channels and supporters with increased expectations from slick digital services - the need to innovate and do things differently is greater than ever before.
At Flying Cars we often speak to charities large and small who want to find new ways to innovate at work because the old ways are not working as well anymore. But the future is not as bleak as you may think. Through:
Taking an iterative approach that tests and learns
Freeing up time by stopping things that don’t work
Investing in yourself and your team to learn new skills
you can succeed on a modest budget.
Here’s how in 11 simple steps.
Create space to innovate. Kill off projects in your portfolio that deliver marginal impact after several years. Without freeing up time you won’t have the resource to deliver innovative projects
Identify the most pressing problem you are trying to solve – without a problem – there is nothing to do!
Pin down your core audience – who are you interested in involving in the solution to this problem? Who is best placed to help you solve it?
Speak to your audience – conduct some insight work. Beware the internal echo chamber
Follow an innovation methodology – Nesta has a lot of resources on their website
Be networked – relentlessly build your networks of contacts inside and outside your organisation – successful innovation means using diverse brainpower to solve problems in a new way
Use your size to your advantage – being small means you can be nimble – don’t get bogged down in complex sign-off – find the quickest route to delivery
In a small organisation you should be able to speak to your beneficiaries relatively quickly – co-create ideas with them if you can
Use some of the many free tools available to test, prototype, mock-up, learn new skills, smoke-test, analyse and conduct insight
Test as cheaply as possible – innovation preaches lean-testing – this means getting a version of your product in front of the potential audience quickly and cheaply
Don’t be afraid of failure – failure is an important part of building new solutions – if there is no failure – you aren’t trying hard enough
A version of this blog was first published on Local Giving