How to Create an Innovation Culture

You can create an environment that houses an innovative culture, and it doesn’t require millions to invest or specialized staff. You can do it by restructuring the way you think, your processes, procedures and your company culture. You don’t need ping-pong or pool tables or a coffee bar in your office. You do need some sensible tips that allow you to integrate the possibility of innovation into your everyday workplace easily. That allows innovation to foster, not just in your research and development department, but in every department. As an executive, your job as an innovation leader begins when you listen, collaborate and empower.

Tons of Tips to Develop an Innovative Business

  1. Provide challenging projects. Line up demanding projects with employee skills and talents. Ensure they have the resources to do the job. It’s not about who has free time or could do it most easily, but who would develop from it while still doing it well. Let them know you’re shooting for a better way, not the existing way.
  2. Focus on multiple innovation types: processes, products, profit models, and policies. You can and should innovate from the bottom up, but department-wide. Customer service representatives, for instance, won’t know what new products you need to develop but could provide valuable insights into information most often requested by customers, providing you an opportunity to automate it and save money.
  3. Identify departmental innovations champions. Recruit and empower them to foster innovation. They need the ability to overrule managers who fiercely protect known productivity methods over trying something new.
  4. Evaluate and redefine your incentive and metrics to reflect your new culture. You can’t effectively judge innovation using decade-old metrics. Give the developing way a chance to prove itself. Create incentives tied to innovation performance goals for employees.
  5. Provide your staff at all levels with the tools and resources to innovate. That means training in how to craft business pitches and how to determine who to pitch them.
  6. Make it safe for departments and individuals to innovate. They need a mechanism to experiment without negative consequences for failing.
  7. Become an innovation parent. This form of parenting involves fostering employee education, growth and internal networking. They need to understand company objectives, focus areas, capabilities and stakeholder expectations and accountability.
  8. Break through the company hierarchy so people at all levels can pitch to one another and collaborate.
  9. Encourage unconventional and unreasonable ideas, especially during brainstorming sessions. They can spawn conversations that lead to genuine innovation.
  10. Build outside relationships and encourage your employees to do so, too. This is easiest for those using co-officing or whose work spans multiple industries.

Starr & Associates Can Help!

How many of the above tips have you already implemented? Do you have the right metrics in place to be able to create an innovative culture? If not, Starr & Associates can help you implement these strategies to bring innovation into the workplace. Contact us today to begin creating an innovation culture in your company.