Countless opportunities to improve the way your business gets things done.
Innovation. It’s not just about big ideas – it’s about small or incremental improvements we can all make, in almost all areas of our working lives. And it’s not just about creating innovative products or services – it’s about processes, about improving how we do things.
So let’s take this inherently positive process and apply it to something less glamorous but just as important: administration. What do you get? ‘Adminnovation’.
Consider the countless opportunities for ‘adminnovation’. Take for instance the following tasks from typical ‘administrative assistant’ job specifications:
- Organise calendars and meetings.
- Compile and distribute minutes of meetings.
- Create and develop documents such as invoices and expenses forms.
- Maintain hard copy and electronic filing systems.
- Research and purchase office supplies.
- Provide office orientation for new employees.
Meet and greet visitors. In addition to making improvements in such general areas, adminnovation may also be possible in specific administrative areas such as finance, information technology or human resources.
One of the most obvious ways to begin innovating is to seek out problems and then come up with solutions. So look for weaknesses or problems in your administrative processes. Then ask: can you adapt processes to improve effectiveness and efficiency? Or, where there are no obvious problems, could you simplify administrative processes to make them more efficient than they were before?
Reviewing your administrative processes and deciding where there’s room for improvement helps to create an ‘innovation agenda’ which sets out key priorities for adminnovation.
Research suggests that the most innovative companies are those in which innovation is proactively planned, encouraged, managed and measured by top management. Research also indicates that the most innovative ideas come from employees, rather than external sources such as business partners or customers. So, why not bring management and administrative staff together in pursuit of adminnovation?
Working together, an adminnovation team could identify objectives, brainstorm solutions and implement good ideas immediately. The involvement of management in the process means that good ideas are less prone to barriers to implementation, and more likely to receive the attention and resources they require.
The most obvious benefit of adminnovation is improved business effectiveness and efficiency. But in addition, administrative employees may obtain job satisfaction from working with management to solve problems, and also benefit from a more productive and problem-free working life. In essence – it’s a win win. So what could be more useful and valuable than business adminnovation?