Innovation. It’s a very popular word to throw around these days. From the President’s speeches to car commercials, everyone is asking for and touting innovation. Maybe it all started because a little blog I used to write.

The definition of innovation is simple, the introduction of something new, or change. In the business sense, it’s a new way of doing something that is better than before. Either it makes the customer experience simpler or more effective, or it makes business processes flow smoother, or it saves money, etc.

At the end of the day, innovation moves us forward. And if you’re running a company, you are looking for the next big idea. Well it’s time to stop looking, and start getting. Go out and do something to make it happen. That’s the entire philosophy to the Incentivize Everything series.

A business’s greatest resources are its employees. From the executives, to the marketers, to the customer service staff, to the factory workers, they are the most important (and possibly the most underutilized) aspects of a successful business. And they have ideas, they have the ideas that you are looking for.

All you need to do is incentivize them to step forward, and empower them to implement.

For every new idea that the company implements, that employee gets ___. Fill in the blank with money, days off, promotions, parties, anything that would drive employees to create change.

Google gives its employees one day each week to work on their own projects. That’s how Gmail was born. Think about it.