How to Foster A Culture of Innovation
Innovation in business is increasingly becoming a crucial element in ongoing success. In a PwC survey, 97% of CEOs say that innovation is a top priority, but 94% are dissatisfied with their current innovation programs (source: McKinsey). The problem is many don’t know how to establish and maintain an innovation culture and program.
Innovation is defined as the process of introducing something new in the form of an idea, method, or device, that benefits an individual or group by improving or solving a problem.
Many think innovation needs to be groundbreaking leaps in technology, requiring A LOT of R&D funding. The reality is that innovation can be anything ranging from incremental to radical.
Implementing an innovation agenda is a great way to show your team members that your company is serious about driving innovation. This way, innovation isn’t only encouraged but also managed, tracked, and measured as a core element in a company's growth aspirations.
There’s no point in putting in all this work to find ideas for innovation in the workplace if you don’t have a powerful vision for the future of your company. It all comes back to what business you’re in. If you really want to know how to drive innovation in the workplace, find the true mission of your company and keep it in the forefront of your mind, always. You’ll then be naturally inclined to strategically innovate because you’ll do whatever it takes to reach that goal.
But that’s not enough. It’s important that your senior leadership not only gets involved in your innovation activity but all departments are involved with supporting your innovation agenda. Allowing for better use of existing (and often untapped) talent for innovation, without implementing disruptive change programs, by creating the conditions that allow dynamic innovation networks to emerge organically and flourish.
For innovation to be realised, leadership need to make a commitment to actively participate in the programme, set direction, and inspire great thinking.
Finally, to foster an innovation culture there must be trust among employees. In such a culture, people understand that their ideas are valued, trust that it is safe to express those ideas, and oversee risk collectively, together with their managers. Such an environment can be more effective than monetary incentives in sustaining innovation.
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