For MRI Employees, the Road to Success Begins with ‘Innovation’

All it takes is one idea.

If you were given the chance to step away from your desk for 48 hours for the opportunity to cultivate that one idea, what could happen?

For MRI Software employees at the company’s Solon headquarters, it has led to the development of game-changing solutions that have driven the company’s innovative engine.

‘Innovation Days’ was created by MRI Software in 2013 as a way to allow Product Development employees to develop software ideas that could manifest into either an internal or external solution that could benefit the company’s operations.

Since its inception, Innovation Days has led to some of the company’s most esteemed software features, including the company’s flagship ‘Version X’ solution, as well as other market leading offerings such as API Toolkit, MRI•GO, and Single-Sign-On (SSO).

The idea behind ‘Innovation Days’ is based on a concept called a ‘FedEx Day’ – where employees participate in a 24-hour event. It is called FedEx Day, because employees have to ‘deliver’ overnight, like the parcel delivery company. MRI took the concept and expanded it into a 2-day event

“We went with an entire day dedicated to the work, and a separate day to demo the projects to the rest of the organization and gather feedback. We also introduced the idea of “sponsors”, where other departments could sponsor the event and submit their ideas or pain points in the product that they’d like to fix,” said Dan Martin, a Software Engineer at MRI and Innovation Days coordinator.

And the idea has grown. Not only are Product Development employees taking part, but team members from all across the company are encouraged to submit ideas. Martin says that participation from the Product Development department is up to 95 percent, and that members of the company’s Senior Leadership Team are even getting in on the action.

“The support and participation from the rest of the organization has been encouraging,” said Martin. “People are constantly asking how they can get involved or how they can help improve the event. There are a lot of questions on when the next event takes place and a lot of excitement around many of the projects.”

For a company whose mantra is “Driving Innovation” – what better vehicle to drive than the creative minds of the employees who know your product, inside and out.

For MRI, ‘Innovation Days’ is also driving results. According to Martin, many projects end up either becoming part of a product, or are used internally almost immediately.

Not bad for a day’s work.

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