Jo Geraghty


Innovative ideas can come from anywhere

Date added: 19th Mar 2015
Category: Innovation Culture

One simple idea which has had lasting consequences; that is innovation in action.

Let’s be honest.  The idea of transforming organisational culture to one which embraces innovative methodologies can be daunting.  We may talk about adopting agile methods of working, about collaborating outside the confines of the business or about gathering informed intelligence about our customers but what does that actually mean in practice?

Admittedly for some businesses an innovation culture may require a complete change of thinking but when you stop to think about it, at heart, innovation culture simply recognises that great ideas can come from anywhere so why not open up the channels to ensure that  those ideas flow.  Yes, sometimes innovation may result in a resetting of entire swathes of business attitude or practice but at other times it may simply result in the adoption of a simple idea which has game-changing results.

When Esteban Bullrich was given the job of Education Minister in Buenos Aires he inherited a school system which was in chaos.  The relationship between teachers and state had broken down to such an extent that teachers walked out on strike fourteen times a year, called out by one or more of seventeen separate teaching unions.

His solution was simple; he gave out his mobile phone number to teachers and invited them to call him.  Initially reaction was sceptical but as word got around that not only would Mr Bullrich answer the phone in person, he genuinely listened to grievances and found solutions, trust started to return to the system.  In the last four years there has not been a single strike and morale has improved as has the standard of education.   One simple idea which has had lasting consequences; that is innovation in action.

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