Innovation is essential to an organization’s long term success. It leads to improved products or services, increased efficiency and additional profits. Managers must spearhead the development of an innovation initiative that helps all associates realize their importance in assuring the company’s continued development. In other words, a “business as usual” mentality stifles rather than strengthens the workplace.
How do you move the needle from tried and true to new? First, make sure the staff is focusing on the right subjects. Identify specific business challenges and ask “what if?” You must also eliminate the fear of a bad idea as there is no such thing, so encourage your people to keep brainstorming. Experts tell us that 50 to 70 percent of all new product or service ideas fail at even the most successful companies. The main difference between businesses that have an innovation culture and those that do not is simply the number of new possibilities under consideration.
So, thinking is the operant word and there are many steps one can take to encourage this activity. One of the most important points to remember is that this should be a fun and enjoyable undertaking, not a task. Provide time for associates to reflect and create. Consider enhancing the creativity in your office through photos and art that inspire different trains of thought. Diverse viewpoints spark unique approaches, so create teams of individuals that normally don’t interact with each other. And by all means, tap into the fresh perspective offered by new employees.
Now that you’ve harnessed this collective thought process, schedule regular brainstorming sessions where ideas flow freely and management has the opportunity to recognize and compliment originality. Your objective is the creation of an innovations account from which your organization can withdraw and execute, while constantly replenishing.