How do you foster innovation amidst the unrelenting pace of IT deadlines? The answer, according a recent ComputerWorld story, is to create a policy of “Innovation Time Off” (ITO), a concept that has spawned game-changers like Gmail and the Post-It.
Google’s “20% time” is part of a progressive culture that has attracted many of the industry’s brightest engineers and other industries are taking notice:
“Sometimes known as Innovation Time Off or ITO, creativity programs aim to battle stagnation on multiple fronts. They give employees the freedom to explore and the ability to be creative, which can improve morale and increase work output. And they represent a new way to help retain employees in today’s competitive labor market.
“The old motivational techniques have run their course. We’ve oversold the carrot-and-stick and undersold quieter forms of motivation,’ Pink says.”
We asked a couple of our own Consultants, also luminaries in their fields, to share their view on ITO as a corporate enticement:
Swathi Vadi, Business Analyst:
“Innovation time off can certainly be considered a benefit as it does provide a means to take your mind off the routine work, and explore other challenges, leading to innovative solutions. I would be inclined to consider it as a benefit, provided that the employer encourages, and examines any innovations that are proposed in earnest.”
Julius Fontanez, Application Support Engineer:
“ITO seems like a very good incentive since it allows employees the ability to add even more value to their jobs by providing an environment that encourages ideas and creativity at the individual level. This allows for the basic notion that each person makes a difference, and each voice should be heard. This would be a very strong draw toward a company, as an indicator that my ideas matter and their policies support that.”
What do you think? Would an ITO policy be a persuasive benefit or are you more skeptical? Leave a comment here or @howardsystems
Images: 1. Kauffman & Rossin, 1. Inhabitat