One of my co-workers, JR, remarks on an innovation contest at work. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who wasn't sure what to make of the announcement.
The initial announcement sounded a bit fishy for several reasons. I wish I could post it here to see how others interpret it. Anyway, it contained just about all the information you'd expect: the goal, rules, timeline, and so on. But it left out one key piece of information. If I come up with Yahoo's next great idea, I'll win the prize (a strero). But will I get what really matters: the time and authority to work on taking that idea and turning it into reality?
The contest announcement never said. It didn't mention the fate of the winning idea.
So I e-mailed the vice president who announced the contest and asked: "Does the winner get any assurance that they'll be given the necessary time and resources to help build and deliver on their innovative idea?"
I got a response. He started off, predictibly, with "that's a great question" and then went on to not answer it. Yes, he said stuff, but he didn't say "yes" or "no." It was a yes or no question.
What's worse is that this contest does little to address the real problems that I wrote about earlier.
I worry that the self-appointed judges of this contest wouldn't know innovation if it bit them on the ass. They're doing nothing to address the real barriers to innovation in our workplace.
Posted by jzawodn at February 11, 2003 08:04 PM