Innovation in business organizations must be created, encouraged and supported – otherwise it’s not going to happen. There are many reasons for this, however one of the key reasons is that innovation involves taking risk and most employee would not take risk unless it is supported and encouraged by management.
Company’s culture is the main issues in innovation. For example, there are companies who encourage creativity, new ideas and innovating and strongly support employees trying new approaches and taking certain risks.
On the other hand, there are types of companies which practice a discipline with strict rules, procedures and policies – such a culture doesn’t support and creates innovators.
What is important for employee innovation and what should you do to create an innovative organization?
There are a few issues here which are critical for creating the innovation culture:
New ideas should be always welcome by management. Training on new product development and creating new solutions can be incorporated into regular employee training. New ideas must be encouraged as a competitive alternative to improving the business.
Training should be directly related to the organizational goals. Instead of conducting training based on what everyone else is doing in your industry you should start with the organizational goals and develop training as a way to educate employees how to deliver the required results. Always link training with the strategy.
Numerous studies have proven that the traditional thinking that money is a main motivator is wrong. Pay them and they’ll deliver the results is rarely true.
Instead focus on developing career plans for your employees and focus on long-term development. This will motivate your employees to invest their skills, knowledge and experience in your company’s growth and innovation. Encourage risk taking and new ideas.
Make innovation part of your everyday business
If you organize meetings periodically where innovation is the central agenda and employees brainstorm new ideas and share new experiences you’ll see significant growth in innovation. For instance, formalized monthly innovation meetings can bring whole new perspective on creating new solutions, processes, products, customer experiences, service delivery approaches, etc.
Employee innovation program
Develop a continuous plan for innovation and formalize it as an ongoing program. By having formal organization wide employee innovation program with certain expectations you’ll further encourage and support innovative culture in your business and reward those who create new solutions for your company.
As each industry and market becomes more competitive and global every company is exposed to strong competition and new competitors. Innovation is a driving force for sustainable growth. Only through new product development, new ways of doing business and new solutions organizations can outperform their competitors.