So what is a culture of innovation?
A culture of innovation fosters creativity and problem-solving. It motivates the employees to take ownership of their tasks and encourages their curiosity. An innovation-driven culture harnesses ideas and works to develop, implement and generate value.
How can an enterprise create a culture that thrives on Innovation?
To build a culture that thrives on innovation, the organization has to adopt a holistic approach to innovation, with cross-functional coordination, effectively ensuring contribution from the entire organization. The leadership needs to understand why innovation needs to be a continual process and how to incorporate it as a business discipline. The senior management has to integrate appropriate strategies and infrastructure to support their employees to ensure their efforts produce tangible value for the company through innovation.
Tips to build a culture that thrives on Innovation
Innovation should be encouraged in all areas
The company should ensure that the employees understand the scope of innovation and clarify that it is not limited just to the products or services offered by the company. Engaging staff members from various functions is vital. They should be encouraged to present solutions that could help improve processes or increase productivity and efficiency.
Create an environment that inspires innovation
Though innovative ideas can come from both the senior management and employees. The leadership has to take on the responsibility to create an environment that nurtures the innovative spirit of employees and provides the required support to go the extra mile. An environment that enables employees to express their ideas and gives them the discretion to experiment is a must, to build the foundation for a culture that thrives on innovation.
Promote collaboration across various functional areas
Innovation is a team effort. A sustainable innovation strategy requires collaboration between different business units or even an external partnership. Collaboration with various units and external partners has multiple advantages like unique perspectives, area experts can speed up the problem-solving process, and solutions are designed with due consideration to all aspects.
Establish a blame-free and trusting culture.
Failures are a big part of innovation. It hardly ever happens that an idea becomes a solution without any hiccups along the way. A culture that appreciates the effort and acknowledges that failures are a part of the process is key to ensuring continued participation from the employees. Guiding your employees to embrace failures as learning opportunities portrays the company’s faith in them and shows that their time is not viewed as wasted.
Revising the performance metrics
Revising or modifying the performance metrics to include criteria that encourage innovation and evaluate the individual’s contribution to the company’s innovation goals. It is vital to align the performance goals, employee compensation and promotions with the innovation goals of the company. It ensures that the employees can invest time in developing innovative ideas without fearing any adverse repercussions on their performance.
Finally, your sustainable innovation strategy will include inputs from every corner of your organisation and a conscious effort to seek continuous improvement in every aspect of your business. This echoing throughout the organisation is what builds a culture that thrives on Innovation.