Once you\u2019ve defined what innovation means to your organization, you need examples that reinforce your message and demonstrate what innovative behavior looks like. By recognizing innovators, you make them more visible to others on your IT team. And you not only motivate these individuals to do more, you turn them into role models who motivate others. Such recognition is a big part of establishing a new practice\u2014the attention and direction motivate people to change their behavior.\n \n Recognizing your team members isn\u2019t rocket science, and it can be done in big and small ways. For example, like many companies, JetBlue has affiliations with well-known brands, including sports teams. I\u2019ve used these relationships to spotlight innovators and other exemplary performers on my team, allowing them to share the recognition with a family member or friend. I\u2019ve also given employees gifts that relate to a theme I\u2019m using to inspire the team.\n Show Employees that Innovation CountsRecently, I was able to take advantage of our relationship with the Boston Celtics to get great seats at a game for a crew member who had taken an innovative approach to a problem with our boarding-pass printers.\n \n \n \n We\u2019d had some complaints from customer service agents about the reliability of the printers, and the problems were slowing down their work. The IT crew member didn\u2019t set out to create anything new, but by trying to improve the overall stability of the printers, he identified a configuration change that helped. This change allows our customer service agents to process customers more efficiently.\n \n The configuration solution is a great example of a key IT behavior that I want to encourage: being proactive.\u00a0 And it demonstrates one of our IT strategic objectives: to enable the business through IT by being consistent and predictable and by improving processes.\n \n We followed up after the game with an email to the IT team citing the example, explaining the innovation and letting people know what recognition he received.\n \n Another way I recognize employees is by relating their work to a theme. I have a deep interest in NASA and space exploration, and it\u2019s a topic that inspires most people. So I\u2019ve focused on the space race, as well as on the rescue of Apollo 13 and a line from the 1995 movie, spoken by Flight Director Gene Kranz: \u201cFailure is not an option.\u201d I\u2019ve found several books that reinforce that theme. When I want to highlight an achievement, I\u2019ll write a personal message inside a copy and present it to the person or group I\u2019m recognizing.\n \n Books and other gifts can be given to employees privately, be presented in a public forum\u2014where they will be seen positively by their peers\u2014or be sent to their houses so family and friends can appreciate their hard work.\n \n There are other ways to recognize innovation, too. Find one that works in your business and do it consistently to reinforce people\u2019s positive actions. As you do so, you\u2019ll bring out the innovators in your organization.\n \n Joe Eng is CIO at JetBlue.