If you're looking for a way to boost innovation at your company, check out this blog post. We offer three strategies for real change that you can begin implementing today.
Keep It Fresh!
There are many reasons why the leadership at an organization should be interested in taking steps to boost innovation within the company. Consider the alternative: a stagnant, unchanging company stuck in its old ways, utilizing the same practices year after year and getting the same results, never truly growing or pushing the envelope. Employees become bored and leave, product offerings don't change, customers lose interest, and revenue doesn't rise. If this sounds like a nightmare scenario, don't worry - you can avoid these issues by encouraging innovation using the following three suggestions.
1. Embed Innovation Into the Company Structure
When it comes to innovation, you might find it easy to talk the talk. You can tell employees that innovation is a company value, discuss the topic regularly, and praise them for interesting ideas. But you'll find that this isn't enough (though it's a good first step). You must also walk the walk by making innovation part of the company culture through actions, not just words.
- Create cross-functional teams to encourage creativity and collaboration.
- Dedicate entire days every week, month, or quarter to allow employees to work on innovative projects.
- Establish innovation spaces - creative environments where employees can get a group together to hash out new ideas.
- Implement a reward system for people who are able to ideate and execute initiatives that successfully produces results.
Don't just say that you encourage innovation, actually do so.
2. Check Your Company Culture
In order for innovation to thrive at a company, the culture must allow for it. Take a critical look at your company culture. Ask yourself:
- Is your leadership approachable, available, and transparent about goals, problems, and results?
- Do your employees trust each other enough to go out of their way to bounce ideas off of each other and collaborate?
- Is it easy for anybody, no matter where they are in the company structure, to make their voices heard?
- Do you encourage people to take risks and iterate? Or does ''failure'' lead to punishing consequences?
- What is the approval process like for new ideas? What if they require some capital? How much red tape is involved?
Take the initiative to truly examine the corporate culture and office environment to make sure that you're not unintentionally creating silent roadblocks to innovation.
3. Cut Down on the Fluff
You've probably observed this for yourself within your own position: an exhausted, overburdened mind does not innovate. People don't come up with new, creative ideas when their plates are overflowing with more mundane considerations. That's why we highly recommend making sure that employees' time and energy isn't being wasted with distractions. Be careful about the following:
- Too many meetings
- Too much busy work
- Insufficient time off, which creates employee burnout
- Understaffing, or an insufficiently diverse staff
- Rigid corporate policies and procedures
If you can avoid or eliminate these issues, your staff will not only be able to focus more on their actual work, but also have the breathing room to come up with new, fresh ideas for the company.
If you're looking to provide your workforce with training to encourage innovation, check out Study.com's corporate learning courses.