Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Corporates need Innovation and sometimes this will come from Employees: The Vodacom call me case

Now I dont really like to write on my blog about specific companies BUT my blog is supposed to be about nurturing innovation and entrepreneurship on all levels of society where society is the winner in the end and entrepreneurs and pioneers can make money or fame that they can use to hopefully do more innovation and keep bettering society. So this leads me to the Vodacom "Please call me " case. Everything about this case has lessons for entrepreneurs and especially intrepreneurs ( people who innovate as an employee). Let me start with the corporate. Every corporate needs to keep innovating or they will perish. So a culture of innovation needs to be created in all levels of a company. But how do you encourage innovation without rewarding employees? And in the case of Vodacom actually taking the idea as one's own. My impressions in reading the story is that the biggest slap in the face is that Alan Knott Craig actually claimed the idea in his biography. This is shocking! I beleive that employees first want recognition beyond anything else. In this case I would still recognise what is the truth! This is about good business and the right thing to do. In a world where David can beat Goliath it is because of the power of the individual. So the company should have dedicated innovation managers and policies guiding what happens when employees have great ideas. The lesson for the employees of vodacom are simple. If you have an innovation make the app in your own time. Patent it and then offer it to the company. If they wont pay then  offer it to your competitors. Watch the movie ENVY with Jack Black! Personally I have known about this for some time and will never encourage an innovator to take their ideas to certain companies with poor reputations for “stealing” ideas. Companies like Vodacom, Discovery, Eskom, and so on! The worse part is if Vodacom just gave him recognition it would probably have been enough. Bad Karma! Shame on you Vodacom!