Creating A Culture of Innovation, by Kenneth Moten

Creating A Culture of Innovation By Kenneth Moten

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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.

COLLABORATION
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.

LEADING IN A TEAM ENVIRONMENT

MOTEN TATE LEADERS

Leading in A Team Environment

By Kenneth Moten

Imagine a work environment filled with employees who share a common vision; set ambitious performance goals; yield high quality metrics; and hold each other accountable to achieve outstanding results. This scenario is a reality for many successful compaies who have high performance teams comprised of a cohesive diverse group of individuals who have varying skill sets that complement one another. These types of performance teams stem from the foundation of an outstanding leader and organization.

The key to a winning team is leadership. A leader that demonstrates integrity, authenticity, and competency. A leader that people trust and has formulated excellent communication skills to inspire the staff to embrace the company’s vision.

Everything starts with the leader.

TRUST AND RESPECT

A strong leader can inspire ownership into the team through trust and respect. This can be done through the simple act of listening and understanding their team’s perspective.

COMMUNICATE VISION AND GOALS

Employees must understand the company’s vision and their role and responsibility as it relates to attaining the vision. It is essential that everyone shares a clearly defined target and that leadership communicates those goals. A common goal will rally the team and get them focused. There should be a plan or a set of “blueprints” for action(s) to achieve the goals.

INSPIRE NOT DRIVE

High performance teams need not be pushed, but they need to feel inspired and of the belief they are on a mission that could change the world. The inspiration does not have to be specific and tangible—it can be as simple as connecting emotionally with an employee. Leaders should use language that encourages forward thinking and creates energy and excitement within the team. Being enthusiastic and energetic is a huge part of inspiring people but you must also take a visionary approach to affecting change; possibly by allowing employees to help develop an innovative strategy with you.

SUPPORT RISK TAKING

High performance teams go beyond meeting deadlines and staying within the budget. They go beyond maintaining the status quo being mindful not to push the envelope too much. Any risk taken will be intelligent and calculated. Leaders of high performance teams should provide latitude and flexibility that encourages moderate risk taking and other potential innovations.

REWARD AND FEEDBACK

More than anything, the leader of a high-performance team needs to treat the members like super stars while creatively rewarding them for outstanding performance. Continuously provide clear and specific feedback on an individual and team basis. Keep them motivated with incentives and praise.

A true, high performance team will over time establish norms for the team behavior and decision making. They will eventually function independently and be self-directed. They will solve problems thereby achieving results with little assistant. With excellent leadership comes the possibility of having sustainable, high performance teams that will achieve dramatic results in a short period of time for your company.