Innovation within the workplace with Dr. Jason Fox

I recently had a chat with Dr. Jason Fox who is a very interesting and creative individual. He describes himself as an an “ideas liberator” and is very passionate about helping organisations foster an innovative culture in their workplace. Dr. Fox compeleted his PhD (helping people fill the gap between goal setting and goal getting), wrote a book (Master Exams) and lectured at 3 different universities before the age of 25, which is a milestone that not many people have achieved. Before he started his quest on fostering innovation, he was working on a project called Enjoy Exams, which educated students on how to approach and excel at examinations.

Now on to what we discussed during our chat…

The problem:

A lot of traditional businesses are having trouble with innovation as there is an increasing need for a collaborative working environment. Many companies have trouble getting past certain hurdles in their business and they cannot seem to find a way to improve. There is still a very strong risk adverse culture out there and with the attitude of “if it is not broke, don’t fix it!”  Innovation seems to be seen as something that gets in the way of organisation operations rather than something that is should be a part of it. “When companies send their employees out to conferences to bring back ideas, the ideas get brought back but are usually not implemented.”

How Dr. Jason Fox helps innovate companies:

Dr. Fox helps his clients by introducing steps and procedures to make sure that the new ideas generated get implemented. “I help them identify all the issues and “air out” all the problems and issues so that companies can get on to it straight after.” Dr. Fox helps businesses implement innovation as part of their business culture rather “than a box that needs to be ticked.” One of the interesting ways that Dr. Fox does this is by build a game or a method to make sure that the ideas happen.

Apart from consulting, Dr. Jason Fox also provides motivation speaking services to companies on topics such as “Making Clever Happen” and “Level Up.”

If you like to find out more about the services that Dr. Jason Fox offers please go to – http://www.drjasonfox.com

How “games” help the workplace:

“13 million people are currently playing World of Warcraft (online multi-player game), 316 million people log into Farmville (Facebook game application) everyday and there are reports of people that have died from malnutrition due to being addicted to video games.” Dr. Fox suggests that instead of looking at games as a negative thing, we can start to look at the paradigms that makes them so addictive and implement them in our workplace and daily lives. One of the paradigms that has been the most effective is the philosophy of “Kaizen.” The Japanese word “Kaizen” means “improvement” or “change for the better”, the Kaizen philosophy is to reward acts that are right instead of punishing acts that are wrong. This concept is strongly linked to “levelling up” by rewarding an individual a right to do something when they have reached a certain milestone. “You know how when you first set up your LinkedIn profile and it says your profile is 80% complete, it makes you think that if I just do this little bit more I can make it 100% complete, that is the culture we want to implement in our workplaces.”

Why?

“I am really passionate about what I do because I get to work with something new all the time. I really like helping out with different quests and puzzles and also the idea of NOT having to work 9 – 5  is the big bonus.” Dr. Jason Fox recommends the book Rework for people who want to have a working life that isn’t held down to the traditional 9-5 working idea.

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