Get your House in Order to Nurture New Product Development
It is all about proper planning, communication, and execution in order to make an idea work or for sustainable innovation to happen. Implementing innovation depends on a disciplined strategy customized to the needs, size and culture of an organization. Each organization must create their own clearly defined stages and steps of the NPD process.
New Product Development (NPD) in today’s market requires dedicated focus, organization, and time. Before diving into the new product development process, you can take steps to prepare yourself and your workspace for a successful NPD venture. Get your house in order to set yourself up for success with some of these tips inspired by Google, which was voted the 2013 number 1 place to work according to Fortune 100.
1. Feed your body; feed your mind – Hunger can be distracting and should not stand in the way of new product development. In the Mountain View headquarters, Google boasts more than 30 cafeterias that feed roughly 12,000 hungry Googlers every weekday. The company deliberately designed its cafeterias with long tables and installed 24 hour micro kitchens, to encourage Googlers to meet one another and increase the chance of a new idea being born.
2. Think outside the box to find inspiration – When faced with creative block, a simple change of scenery is sometimes in order. Community Gardens at the Mountain View GooglePlex provide a beautiful place for some employees to plant, harvest and work. Some Googlers work in chairs situated around the garden to work on laptops while others tend to the garden by planting or harvesting fruits and vegetables.
3. Give it a rest – Google Provides Sleep pods and recliners to accommodate employees working on late night projects or simply as a place to recharge the batteries. You don’t need to get horizontal to rest the brain: listening to music, meditation or simply closing your eyes for several minutes can provide you with the refresh that your brain needs to stay fresh throughout the day.
4. The Body Friendly Office – As reported by Luke Stangel of the Silicon Valley Business Journal, “When you start at Google, one of the first places you’ll go is the on-campus ergonomic center. There, you’ll pick out your laptop, mobile phone, keyboard, monitor, mouse, desk and chair. An ergonomic expert takes your measurements and shows you various options. The IT team installs your chosen configuration overnight.”
Many people do not have an IT team dedicated to ergonomics, but this does not mean that you must suffer from pain due to outdated furnishings. Make sure that a broken or worn office chair is replaced and that the height of your desk and mouse hand are set properly to avoid problems such as carpal tunnel syndrome or neck and back pain.
5. Cleaning House – Finish up outstanding projects or assign specific times during the day to address loose ends. It may be necessary to split the day into two sections: existing projects and new product development. If nothing else, make a list of work for the day and week so that nothing is missed when addressing new ideas.
6. Cut the Clutter – Clean and organize your work area. Sometimes the simple act of filing away folders, cleaning out the desk inbox and sending a pile of old papers to the shredder is all that is needed for the mind to have a clean slate in which to work. A clean work space is one less thing to distract you and makes work more efficient.
You don’t have to spend Google dollars to prepare yourself for success when tackling New Product Development. Google strives to nurture the body and mind of all employees and many of their perks make this a reality. Caring for yourself outside of the office can make you that much more successful in the office.
Category: Innovation Leadership