Innovation. It’s become a common buzzword, and as such, it’s not hard to find a litany of well-meaning articles on the topic. You get it. If you want to helm a successful company, you need to be innovative. You need to create a corporate culture of innovation. The question is: How? And therein lies the rub.
The very idea of being innovative requires discarding conformity and going beyond the bounds of the box. Creating a culture that encourages new ways of thinking also means there is no one size fits all in developing such a workplace. There are, however, common corporate practices you should embrace.
Communicate your vision
Innovation for the sake of innovation is fruitless. Define where your organization is headed. What are you goals? What is the desired outcome? Encourage your team to find new solutions and road maps to a clearly, articulated goal.
Remove the stigma of failure
Forging a new path comes with a certain risk of failure. Be open to it
. Organizations that aren’t willing to take calculated risks don’t grow. When something doesn’t succeed, take the time to evaluate what went wrong and what went right.
Listen and implement
New ideas can come from anywhere in your organization. Be open to input from all areas of the business and more importantly, be prepared to implement some of those ideas. Granted, not every creative solution is viable. When that’s the case, don’t forget to offer constructive feedback as to why. People who feel their ideas are ignored are less likely to offer them up in the future.
Build in time for brainstorming
Odds are there isn’t a to-do list in your organization that has ample space left on it. If left to our own devices, we may trudge through the day going about business as usual without a moment to spare for a little creative enterprising. Set aside time with your team to get your collective creative juices flowing. Don’t forget that some of the best ideas come as individual “aha!” movements. too. Give your team time to work on developing innovative systems and ideas on their own.
Innovation thrives when leaders create the environment that encourages and rewards creativity, initiative, and risk-taking. Encourage team members to not be satisfied with the status quo and to dare to find unique solutions to tackle day-to-day challenges.
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