Creating A Culture of Innovation By Kenneth Moten
Leaders throughout corporations, attempting to generate outcomes at a tactical level, know they must change the way they lead. Most leaders recognize the important relationship between innovation and culture for business success, and want to move towards shaping their culture accordingly. Company culture is exclusive and arguably offers the most lasting competitive edge a company might have available for differentiating itself from competitors. To attain growth in your business and maintain its identity as a marketplace front runner—leaders must take responsibility for creating and cultivating a sustainable culture of innovation. So, how does a business go about creating an environment that encourages ingenuity and originality from employees?
It all starts at the top.
SHARE THE COMPANY VISION
Establishing a culture of innovation that thrives is no easy feat, and leaders must be clear
about who the company is—and who it is not. Getting everyone on board and aligned can be difficult so leaders need to articulate why innovation is essential and what they see for a direction. Also important is clarifying how creativity and innovation can be defined within the company—this alone makes ingenuity tangible
FOSTER A CREATIVE ATMOSPHERE
Leaders must project a positive atmosphere of inspiration, reciprocal trust, and fearlessness.
By showing drive and passion, employee engagement will increase and creativity will be sparked. If you want to exemplify your company’s innovative culture, encourage it through flexible schedules, less meetings, and with an equitable atmosphere—maybe allowing employees to work from home occasionally which will foster trust.
TRUST AND OPEN COMMUNICATION
Trust between an employer and the employee is one of the most important factors in job
satisfaction. So, open the lines of communication and lay the foundation for an environment of trust. Team members will feel more comfortable voicing their innovative thoughts and ideas. Each individual team member should feel free to express their perspective without the fear of reprisal. Ongoing feedback in both directions is essential and keep the dialogue open by listening and creating a comfortable, sharing atmosphere.
Innovation is not an individual sport, rather it takes teamwork to accomplish organization
objectives. Collaboration is essential to innovation, which means transparency. Share as much information as you can with the team and encourage cross-departmental thinking. Make the teams as diverse as possible to get a kind of melting pot of skillsets. Your innovative strategy must include a collaborative effort if you want to create an innovation driven mindset in your culture.
FAILURE IS AN OPTION
Another important thing to keep in mind is that failure will happen and is a necessary part of
growing. There is a great deal of risk involved with innovation and employees need to feel like there
is patience and leniency for potential failure. If leaders establish trust with employees, they are more likely to take intelligent, well thought out risks, that have the potential to earn the company money, as opposed to being careless.
RECRUIT THE RIGHT PEOPLE
Have a strong screening process and look for people who love big challenges and welcome a
rapidly changing environment. Look for potential leadership abilities in each candidate and make sure they have excellent cognitive abilities. At Google, they hire for capability and the ability to learn before they hire for an individual’s expertise.
Innovation happens with people, not products. Without sufficient, solid, and sustainable innovation culture, your company will yield poor outcomes—or possibly even fail. Companies that make strong innovation cultures have leaders who take charge and illustrate that revolutionary things can happen for the company with a little creativity and hard work.