How to Cultivate Innovation in the Workplace
Innovation in the workplace starts at the top. A company can propel further when there is an atmosphere to inspire employees to seek out innovative opportunities. As a priority, a company must establish a mindset to focus on a corporate culture change that includes innovation. An innovative culture may start with the founder, but it must be sustained by the entire organization for continued success.
Driven by successful leaders via their employees, innovation should sustain, inspire, and promote key principles companywide. Principles of innovation offer every employee an opportunity to explore and question company methods and approach to change. Here are a few ways to embrace innovation:
Start with the basics.
Get employees to expand on the three components of the business: product, process, and business model. Ask for contributions to enhance or improve the product. Encourage staff to elaborate on the process of how the product is made. Motivate employees to conceptualize an organization for future growth and illustrate how it would look.
Turn mistakes into ideas.
Innovation may be disguised in the form of an oversite or mistake. Coach employees to turn a mishap into an innovation opportunity. Rally teams and departments together to support each other and observe mistakes as teachable moments rather than negative occurrences.
Leaders want to succeed in innovation and should encourage curiosity and recognize successes. On the other hand, leaders should also support employees who have the courage to fail in the face of innovation. Curiosity and courage stimulate ideas and concepts for future growth.
Open channels of communication.
Think in terms of what is valuable in your workplace culture and create an atmosphere conducive to innovation. As an example, have an open-door policy in which there are literally no doors on offices. Why? This signals a culture where everyone has the autonomy to work in an interrupt mode. As a result, ideas flow freely, constantly, and unfettered.
Recognize the source.
As a role model of innovation, advertise the success of others and their ideas. No matter how large or small the innovation may be, applaud and reward for great ideas. By doing so, the tone is set for others in the company to step up and think about the future of innovation in the workplace.
When innovation is core to your business, make the employees part of the culture. Make your innovation story about your organization, not just one person or idea. Innovation doesn’t happen overnight and there is no magic formula to sustain it. A sustainable culture of innovation in the workplace starts with strong leadership that promotes confidence and continuously strives for excellence.
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