It is no secret that continuous innovation is the key to ongoing business success. Modern businesses must remain agile and evolving to remain on the cutting edge of their industries. A 2010 IBM global CEO study reiterates this fact, citing creativity as the most important factor in predicting an organization’s future success.
Leaders have the responsibility to cultivate a culture of creativity and innovation, building a foundation that encourages curiosity, questioning, proposals, and the effective implementation of new and strong ideas. The following tips can help you ascertain whether you’re building the right organisational cultural change for your niche.
Implement Defined Innovation Process
Beyond simply talking about innovation, leaders must demonstrate that the organisation takes innovation seriously. Developing and supporting a formal program that encourages the submission of innovative ideas, the careful review of those ideas, and the effective implementation of appropriate ideas builds the channel through which creativity can flow. In addition, team members should be allotted portions of their days or weeks to dedicate solely to the innovation process. Positive recognition will help maintain momentum.
Assemble the Right Team
The fact is that not everyone is innovative by nature. Emphasis should be placed on hiring team members who are naturally curious, diverse, and who demonstrate solid thought processes. These individuals will question why things are done the way they are, striving to understand logic and reasoning, and recommending changes where may be needed. Perhaps most importantly, these individuals will substantiate their own recommendations with reasoning to help drive conversations around optimal solutions.
To fully embrace team member creativity and innovation means to also understand that mistakes will inevitably occur along the way – it is simply part of the creative process. When this happens, use the mistake as an opportunity to discuss what went wrong and how it could be handled better the next time – not to berate or punish the employee for the mistake. This will encourage continuous learning as well as give team members the confidence to make independent decisions and drive change within their realms of authority.
Using these tips as a guideline will help you determine if your organisation is truly cultivating a culture of innovation. A strong baseline will provide team members the freedom to be creative and innovative in the drive to continuously move the business forward.
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