Posted on: February 6th, 2017
For companies to break through to the next level of success, they need to adopt innovation as a core business strategy. Innovation lets your company be the first to spot new trends, break into new markets and stand out ahead of your competitors.
To do this you have build a culture of innovation, not just merely coming up with new ideas, but creating an environment that encourages creative ideas and innovation on an ongoing basis.
Here are three ways in which you can build a culture of innovation that acts as a strategic imperative to your business.
Train your leaders to encourage innovation
A recent survey titled creating the Conditions tor Sustainable Innovation revealed that only 43 percent of employees think their boss is open to unique ideas and opinions. The management and leadership team should give employees the idea that innovation is welcome.
New ideas and methods should be appreciated, and openly discussed for pros and cons. If the management team chooses not to implement an idea, then valid reasons should be given.
Furthermore, the management should not confuse employees with conflicting messages, such demanding innovation, and while at the same time focusing only on short-term objectives.
Foster an ‘innovation conducive’ workplace climate
A workplace climate that dispenses of fear and encourages innovation is needed for a culture of innovation to thrive. Employees should not fear, but feel free to take risks.
In addition, mistakes and failures are not to be penalized or frowned upon but viewed as part of the innovative process.
Allowing for a certain degree of autonomy is important for innovation to grow. If there are any processes, procedures, or cumbersome rules that are limiting innovation, see to it that they are removed or changed.
Push for innovation across several domains
Very often innovation in companies is limited to only the product, with employees encouraged to think only about the development of new products. This however is a big mistake.
For your company to stay ahead of its competition, bottom-up innovation across several domains is needed. Seek to develop innovation across the 4 P’s- profit models, processes, products, and policies.
Creating such a broader innovation plan further highlights the different arenas in which different employees can be involved with innovation. Finally, it is important to remember that every company’s culture is inherently different. This includes the innovation culture as well.
Developing an innovation culture, which aligns the values of the company with the company’s strategic goals, will truly empower employees to generate, develop and pitch great ideas.