Lots of large businesses have recognised the benefit of opening a creche for their worker’s children. It improves the work-life balance, increases productivity and loyalty and presumably gets new Parents back to work quicker.
Brilliant Idea #42 is an Idea Creche service.
The reality is that if you are reading this and you work for a large business, it is likely that someone in your organisation is taking what they know and have learnt from your business and developing an idea for a new start-up and in all probability they are working out how to get funding in order to leave your organisation to exploit the idea.
Why not provide a service where employees, rather than feeling as though they have to hide their idea and work on it out of hours (or worse, when the boss isn’t looking) get the ability to work on it at work?
Some of the most innovative organisations in the World – Google and LinkedIn being the most well known for offering employees the opportunity to work on their own projects for 10% of their time. The downside of this is that most ideas don’t come to anything so a lot of the 10% of time doesn’t result in a viable idea. This isn’t time wasted – it’s essential to go through the iterations of failure before finding that nugget of Gold, but this will be a BIG step for most organisations. The Idea Creche is actually about providing the space, support, mentoring and funding for employees to work on their ideas before, after and during lunch. If the idea passes the viability test, then can then request funding to extend the innovation activity further.
In the same way that in a Creche there are specially trained childcare assistants, the idea creche will offer specially trained ideators that will look after and nurture the ideas in their care (forgive the other childcare metaphor) – a business incubator.
Funding will come from the business (or businesses that potentially share an office building or park) because;
– nurturing and up-skilling innovative and entrepreneurial staff makes sense (rather than loosing them)
– it’s a great story to tell investors / customers / suppliers
– some of those ideas will provide a ROI
– it addresses the no.1 problem that organisations have around innovation – what I call the Innovators Paradox, “Survival today requires coherence, co-ordination and stability. Survival tomorrow requires the replacement of those erstwhile virtues”. We are simply providing the opportunity to focus on ideas away from the day to day business.