In business, innovation is usually associated with the introduction of new products or services — to an existing business system. However, innovation can also mean changing the way you originally do business.
For an innovation to succeed — be it a new product, service, or the introduction of a new business idea, you must fully support it, your staff and business partners will also have to support the idea.
To get the best out of your staff members, enhance their creative potential, and develop their understanding of your organization’s innovation process, you could get them through an innovation management training.
There are many benefits associated with innovation in businesses. They include:
- Increased competitiveness
- Efficient use of all resources
- Improved staff retention
- A proactive approach to business
- The attraction of new customers
So, how can you help your organization innovate constantly?
1. Employ people with different perspectives
During employment, employ people with different views about your business. Here are what to look out for. People who:
- Understand the vision of the business
- Fit into your culture, but not the same as you
- Offer different perspectives
- Come from different backgrounds
- Have passion
When you bring in people with an alternative set of ideas and problem-solving skills, your team will always come up with an innovative idea constantly.
2. Embrace failure
Breakthroughs don’t happen when companies play it safe. To be innovative, you must be creative. Nothing kills creativity or stalls innovation like the fear of being wrong. Encourage an environment where failing and being wrong is not frowned upon.
When you celebrate mistakes and failures, you allow your employees to be more creative and thus more innovative. Your employees need to be allowed to explore and experiment with new ideas.
3. Lead by example
As a boss, leader, or CEO, make yourself open and approachable to new ideas. Create time for your employees to take a break from routine roles in the organization to inspire new ideas.
See this as an employee retreat. You could allocate time every day or a day out of the office. Also, you could set up meetings, suggestion boxes, suggestion areas on the intranet to encourage employees to share new ideas or provide support.
4. Think outside the box. Don’t focus on your products and services
When you always define your company based on its products and services, it can hinder innovation within your organization. Instead, focus on your assets and strategic skills, and build those into your core competencies.
When you begin to define your business based on assets, it allows your employees the freedom to engage their skills to provide solutions instead of boxing them in a mould.
5. Train your employees in design thinking
Design thinking is a customer-centric approach to creating new ideas and solving problems, which is a crucial component to lean innovation. It is another approach your organization can take to inspire innovation among your employees.
The design thinking process encourages employees to participate in divergent and convergent thinking, which leads to better brainstorming. During this time, there is a free-flow of ideas — and there is no such thing as a ‘bad idea.’
6. Implement ideas quickly
Where feasible, implement the ideas of your employees quickly. When employees see that they’re influencing the direction of the business, they become more motivated to share ideas, work towards the success of their ideas, and also encourage the ideas of other employees.
7. Reward employees
Not all ideas will be implemented. However, employees should be encouraged to suggest all ideas, which can be done by giving out rewards. The rewards can be for individuals, teams, or the entire workforce. The most important thing is that employees should see that you appreciate their efforts in trying to improve the business.
By allowing a culture of innovation in your organization, supported by work practices to encourage employee participation, your business will move forward with innovative ideas that will benefit the organization in the long run. Also, innovation training will enhance employee’s creativity and their ability to contribute to innovation. Use the above ideas to help your organization innovate constantly. For professional advice, do visit our website.