Innovation is critical to taking your business to the next level in today’s expanding marketplace.
The heart and soul of the company is creativity and innovation. – Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO of Disney
Metamorphosis. Change. Breakthrough. Modernization. Transformation. Innovation can be described in many grand terms, but it is much easier to describe innovation than it is to foster and inspire it. At Pekin Insurance, we’re pushing our boundaries every day to bring innovation to the workplace, but it doesn’t always happen naturally or easily. Innovation can’t be forced or provoked; true innovation grows organically. However, as a business, we can do everything within our power to promote and extend innovation’s reach.
Nowhere is this more prevalent than in Information Technology, which is the department I call home. We’re pushing hard every day to overcome technical debt and support our business partners in bringing the newest and most innovative technologies to Pekin Insurance. It seems that there’s a new project spinning up weekly that will bring some new technology or tools to our environment, whether it’s a slick new e-application system, a new data warehouse, or being the first company in America to install the new Xerox Brenva printer. We’re also adding new out-of-the-box thinkers to our IT workforce to bring a well-rounded point of view to every team and project. If we can’t stay innovative, then we will fail to stay relevant, and our IT leaders not only recognize this but are attacking it head on!
Innovation is also happening outside of IT. Our Human Resources Department is always working to bring creative and cutting-edge opportunities to our workforce. Examples of this include on-site masseurs, a farmer’s market on Fridays right outside our main entrance, an adoptive parent reimbursement policy, and an employee appreciation week featuring yoga and meditation classes, as well as a food truck festival! Other departments are innovative as well, and each area of our business has innovation success stories to share!
So, how can you develop and support an innovative environment? Here are some tips!
- Get employees excited! Whether through employee events or contests or offering passion/creative projects in addition to the required ones, giving employees the opportunity to have fun at work will help motivate them and help them enjoy their work environment. This should, in turn, get the innovative juices flowing!
- Promote diversity. Having diverse team members, whether in terms of background, experience, education, or skillset, will help bring many different areas of expertise to your team and help you get the most out of collaboration.
- Go agile. Agile management relies heavily on cross-functional teams to promote efficiency, short sprints of productivity, and flexibility.
- Be receptive and inclusive. It is important to make sure that employees have a supportive environment to share their ideas in, one in which no idea is stupid, frivolous, or too whimsical. If employees feel that their peers and superiors value and appreciate every idea, they will be more likely to dream them up and share them.
The bottom line is that innovation is critical to taking your business to the next level and remaining successful, profitable, and significant in today’s expanding marketplace. Pekin Insurance is committed to remaining innovative in our products, our technology, and our thinking, and this is just one way that we continually go Beyond the expected.®