A lot of organizations stress upon the need of having innovation and creativity in the workplace. However, very few make any concrete efforts towards creating a culture that supports innovation and encourages employees to be more creative. This can also be attributed to the fact that corporate culture has been built to focus on cost-cutting, risk management, and the process of excellence over the years.
Innovation, on the other hand, is a costly and time-consuming process that usually takes a few years before showing any significant results. Nevertheless, creating a culture of innovation is a necessity these days. With global competition on the rise and product lifecycles growing shorter, innovation is the key to corporate survival. As per a survey conducted by McKinsey, 84 percent of executives believe innovation to be an integral part of growth strategies as well.
Let’s take a look at how you can create a culture of innovation and creativity in the workplace
No initiative is truly successful unless it has the support of the senior management of your organization. In this case, it is important that the CEO and other senior executives make consistent efforts that help emphasize the need for innovation. They must also support this by investing in new ideas and including innovation as part of the company’s strategic outlook.
Rewards and compensation are an important part of an employee’s motivation and what they bring to the organization. If employees are appropriately compensated for presenting innovative ideas, then they are more likely to consider innovation as a corporate objective of the organization. For instance, Google is known for its “20% time” management philosophy that encourages employees to dedicate 20 percent of their time on things that they believe will benefit the organization. Google attributes a lot of its creative advancements to this philosophy.
Innovation relies on communication and collaboration between teams. It cannot be carried out in isolation. Creating a culture of innovation will require strong communication between the various business units of your organization. It may also require support from external partners. You must tap into the various resources present within the organization and make use of their skills and capabilities to bring about innovation.
The management team must also make efforts to follow up on new programs that have been introduced. Most management teams that emphasize on innovation will introduce a project at the beginning of the month but fail to follow up. As a result, the project does not receive any due importance from employees, and they end up prioritizing their daily tasks instead.
This is another important aspect of bringing about a cultural change that supports innovation and creativity. Employees must receive training regarding the tools, processes, and methods that aid in idea generation and innovation. This can help them innovate in a more consistent and methodical manner. It can also help them understand the importance of innovation and creativity as a corporate objective of the organization.
Creating a culture of innovation and creativity in the workplace is absolutely necessary. It requires support from the top management as well as appropriate compensation, training, and efforts to improve communication between teams. Organizations must focus on the long-term benefits of innovation and maintain clarity regarding outputs as well. After all, just because something takes a long time to produce results doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go through with it.