Capital People are looking at creative ways of rewarding your team (that don’t have to cost the Earth) as part of the Wales Festival of Innovation. Here our Learning and Development Manager, Christine Henderson, considers more progressive ways to reward innovation.

First, let me apologise to my husband – he is an innovation specialist, an expert in his field.  I merely have a very strong interest in it, I haven’t spent the hours researching, writing and delivering conference papers on it. My musings are rambling observations.

What is innovation?

Innovation is the process of translating an idea or invention into a good or service that creates value or for which customers will pay. Using information, skills, processes and resources to derive greater value. It must be replicable at an economical cost and satisfy a need. 

5 innovative organisations using innovative rewards to reward innovation

  • Tata Group – dare to try awards – considers failed attempts to innovate. The measure of success is around learning, open sharing and risk taking
  • Supercell (gaming company behind “Clash of the Clans”) cracks open a bottle of Champagne every time a game fails
  • Hewlett Packard – medal of defiance – when David Packard said “no, stupid idea” to a large-screen display monitor and Chuck House persisted, the customers loved it, Packard swallowed his pride and gave the award “in recognition of extraordinary contempt and defiance beyond the normal call of engineering duty”.
  • Intuit – failure parties – this accounting software company recognises each failure as an opportunity to learn and marks the occasion with a celebratory get-together
  • Grey Agency – heroic failure award – following an advert at the Super Bowl for a 2006 Cadillac Escalade which cost Leo Burnett (advertising agency) massively, Tor Myhren (responsible for the ad) moved on and introduced the award at Grey for an approach that’s an epic fail. An example includes using panther excrement to demonstrate the effectiveness of cat litter - the poo and kitty litter were hidden (undetected) under the table during the meeting…which ended abruptly when the tray was exhibited.Wales Festival of Innovation starts on Monday and runs for 2 weeks – open events all over the country will highlight how Wales is at the forefront of innovation. Great opportunities for exchanging ideas and concepts, inspiring new collaborations and products that will change lives. More information on the events is here.

As part of the Wales Festival of Innovation, we are running our own event at Capital – we’ll consider what organisations can do to reward innovation without relying on hard cash – drop by for some pastries, coffee and interesting discussion around alternatives to the annual pay review - Talk Leadership:  Innovative Rewards here.