As the business landscape continues to evolve, more and more businesses are beginning to understand the importance of innovation. However, while it may be a vital component to achieving success, it’s not something that can be done overnight. The foundation for innovation is built upon environments and strategies that cultivate its development, but just what is innovation culture, and how can your business implement it?
What is innovation culture?
Organisations have begun to understand that they cannot evolve if innovation is limited to leadership positions. Therefore, innovation culture is an environment that supports creative thinking and its application, giving all employees the chance to contribute to improving the business. By fostering a strong innovation culture, leaders can ensure the organisation will continuously get better and move forward even when faced with adversity.
Here are some of the ways to build a culture of innovation within your business:
Innovation should not be limited
One of the biggest limitations a business can have when it comes to innovation is believing it does not go beyond the development of new products and services. This can be detrimental to employees who do not directly interact with customers as they are either unable to contribute or are forced to brainstorm new ideas despite not being knowledgeable about customer needs. This product-centric view does not consider business strategies which often align with different areas of the business, including profit models, policies, products and processes. These areas are rife with opportunities for employees to share their passion, knowledge and creative ideas.
Innovation and metrics
It can be difficult to measure something as abstract as an idea or culture. A big reason new initiatives fail is because it is often compared to old performance metrics. While crunching the numbers is important and has its place in the business, it is also vital to find a metric model that can realistically track innovation efforts. This can include anything from measuring personal development in employees to revenue from new products. Finding a way to measure innovation is all about determining what does and doesn’t support business goals, and it’s important to play around and see what works for your business.
Get an innovation strategy
Establishing an innovation strategy provides a solid foundation from which to work and ensures innovation is an intrinsic part of your business. It offers more clarity to employees, and when the organisation’s goals and values align with the mission to achieve innovation, it leaves workers feeling more comfortable with their contribution. However, ideas are always changing, and so should your strategy. As the organisation grows and innovation flourishes, you should adapt and change your innovation strategy to suit business needs.
Don’t be afraid to fail
Failure is a crucial component when achieving innovation, and as James Joyce put it, “mistakes are our portals to discovery.” Failure invites curiosity and forces us to think outside the box as we learn, adapt and grow – the very definition of innovation. Not every idea is going to work, and that’s okay. It’s imperative that employees understand this, as fear of failure could cripple innovation. All contributions are valuable, no matter how they pan out.
Businesses should always give employees the recognition they deserve, but there’s nothing that inspires anyone more than being physically rewarded for their efforts. This can be a great way to celebrate innovation and inspire others in the process. Whether it’s a company-sponsored holiday or a gift voucher, providing rewards can spur friendly competition and build an environment that offers an abundance of ideas.
There are countless benefits to encouraging an innovation culture within your business. A consistent flow of ideas and creative solutions not only fuels a company’s growth, but ensures a competitive edge within its respective industry.
With the right partner, growing innovation culture within your business doesn’t have to be a lofty or unattainable goal. The Strategists guide you through the process by creating executable innovation-oriented practices that hone in on an organisation’s business strategy.
If you’d like to find out more about our strategy services, please get in touch with us today.