ISO 9001:2015 quality management systems talk about using existing people in your organization to help you with how you're going to do things and how you improve things in the organization. It's widely acknowledged that innovation comes from within organizations, and the 4th critical success factor of ISO 9001 is the communication and consultation, or consultation phase of the people doing the work.
Often while they might not have the solutions, they can definitely discuss things like what's really frustrating, what doesn't work well and maybe the small adjustments that need to be made in your customer service, processing, manufacturing, project management, building site or your pipeline company depending on the industry you might be in.
If we were to look at measuring the numbers of hours that we spend consulting with our teams, so it's a bottom-up approach, rather than the top-down approach to determine what things could we innovate in the organization.
Put it out to the organization: What do you think we could innovate? What could be improved? What could be some efficiencies? You will find - and I've heard it a lot - regular comments from people like: "So much money gets wasted on X, so much time gets wasted on Y, it's so frustrating."
These are some clear-cut - and easily obtainable - indicators.
You don't necessarily need to look to hear the solutions from within the business, but they can be little signals and little communications of things that could be improved in the organization. So, the leader might set the strategic direction, then the team comes in with suggestions about how each of those things within that division of the business can be improved at a micro level.
I can definitively say that success factor number four is one of the most critical parts of looking at communication and consultation with workers in the organization and asking for suggestions for innovation or areas that need attention.
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