Create a virtual watercooler to spark innovative problem-solving

When it comes to the future of work, digital skills are only part of the story. Resilience and creativity, empowered by supportive leadership, are essential to a thriving, innovative workforce. A new vision requires cultural changes to help you gain the trust of your employees and new technologies to drive a lasting impact in the marketplace. To learn more about empowering your own workforce, click here.

Innovation is frequently associated with product development, whether it was Henry Ford’s mass-production of the Model T leading to vastly improved assembly lines or Steve Jobs building that first Apple computer in a garage in Los Altos. But innovation also plays a role in the seemingly mundane but vital activity of solving day-to-day operational problems. If salespeople are chasing the same leads or if scheduling shifts for care workers is confusing and capricious, it can damage productivity and demoralize staff. And rather than rely on processes or work orders to address such issues, companies often find that spontaneous, interactive, and collaborative brainstorming moments can deliver a solution. When communication suffers, so does innovative problem-solving. And because the forced move to remote working has sharply impacted the capacity for gatherings around the watercooler (or coffee machine or foosball table), the potential to engage in problem-solving has declined as well.

Two things have to happen to remedy the situation. First, you need to identify how communications between colleagues are failing. 

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