To survive and grow in today’s cutthroat business world, innovation, which previously may have felt like just another catchy buzzword, has become an absolute necessity.
If you look at start-ups as an example, you’ll find that many manage to grab market attention initially due to an innovative idea, but soon after they find themselves in hot water as competitors, some who have been in the game a lot longer, take that idea and develop even better ones.
If a company is not constantly raising the bar by trying to find faster, better and more cost-effective ways of doing things, they will eventually lose their competitive advantage and blend into a background.
To avoid this situation, we recommend that you employ the following 5 strategies for promoting innovation within your business:
Tip #1: Create a culture of innovation
Innovation needs to be encouraged at all levels. To do this, ensure that your employees understand how their ideas can help your company achieve that competitive edge. Create a “safe space” of sorts where ideas can be shared and discussed. We recommend a regular brainstorming slot where teams can come together to share their ideas. Sometimes an idea might not be quite the right fit from the onset, but when discussed with a broader forum it can develop into something of great value to your organisation.
Tip #2: Ensure that you have the right people and the right skills on your team
Your hiring processes should be on the lookout for passionate people who love what they do and share in your company’s vision. If people feel a sense of purpose and believe in the greater good of their day-to-day tasks, they’ll be more likely to be on the lookout for ways to continuously evolve and improve. You should also look at upskilling your current employees with brainstorming and other creative problem-solving techniques.
Tip #3: Make innovation a rewarding experience
Encouragement on its own won’t always be enough. Human nature dictates that your employees will likely be thinking: “But what’s in it for me?” Therefore, don’t expect them to be the source of new ideas to push your business forward without at least giving them some form of recognition. Recognition of course does not have to mean a monetary reward, it can take many forms. You could look at giving someone increased responsibility, the opportunity to lead a team, some time off or even something for them to enjoy with their family outside of work.
Tip #4: Be open to taking some risks along the way
Innovation doesn’t come without a price. Risk plays a big role and therefore you must also be open to failure. If an idea was approved and does fail, you can’t hold the employees who came up with the idea responsible. Promote the understanding that failure is OK. If you don’t, people will be too scared to pitch their ideas due to fear of being persecuted later.
Tip #5: Be prepared to implement, learn, adjust and implement again
It’s important to understand that innovation is an iterative process. It’s about taking an idea, testing it, learning from that testing, making some adjustments and then testing it again. Great ideas don’t always happen with the first try, but they can certainly be developed over time.
Sometimes innovation can also benefit from an outside perspective. Supplementing your team with individuals who have different skills or experience can help get the creative juices flowing. This is where Analyze can help. To discuss consulting options Get in touch.