Craig Wynett, who had been the chief creative officer at Procter & Gamble, rightly said, “What we’ve done to encourage innovation is make it ordinary.” And to make innovation ordinary, i.e., something that should happen on a regular basis, we have to build a culture of innovation within organizations.
This means making a cultural shift to allow innovation to happen organically while maintaining business as usual. However, “culture” is an abstract concept. It might be tricky for corporates to decide how to approach the shift — where to start from so that it is most effective.
To make your job a little easier, we present you top 3 proven guidelines that would allow you to build a strong innovation culture within your company for increased success and rapid business growth!
3 Ways To Build a Culture of Innovation In Your Company
1. Implement Rewards & Recognition Programs
The effect of positive reinforcement on employee performance is profound. Writing for Harvard Business Review on how positive reinforcement keeps employees engaged, senior programming director at Disney Institute, Bruce Jones, mentions, “…we teach business leaders that they must proactively search for and recognize employees who demonstrate their organization’s desired behaviors”, because, this recognition, in turn, “inspires people to do their best work, enabling them to make a dramatic and lasting impact on the organization.”
So, recognizing your team’s innovators’ efforts and rewarding them for the same boosts their morale and encourages them to enhance their creativity. Moreover, this should not be limited to success. As an innovation manager, you must recognize their efforts even if the idea or project did not work out as expected. Let them know that it is okay to fail — failure is not a taboo. On the contrary, if things are not failing, (maybe) you are not innovating enough (Elon Musk).
2. Leverage Modern Innovation Tools
When talking about innovation, we cannot ignore the role of technology. Modern innovation tools such as idea and innovation management software save time by replacing tedious manual tasks. The latter streamlines the entire innovation management process — starting from ideation, sorting, and budget planning to project management. To further convince you, here are the top 3 reasons why you should start using one today!
Software that harnesses the power of data, such as the trend intelligence and innovation scouting platforms that we, at StartUs Insights offer, take a data-driven approach to explore the best business opportunities after screening the entire global innovation ecosystem and selecting innovative startups relevant to your needs. Such tools also send you custom analyses, discover technology clusters and financial data, as well as integrate these insights into your internal collaborative platforms.
3. Establish Effective Collaboration
An innovation manager cannot single-handedly conduct all innovation activities. Successful corporate innovation demands good teamwork. So, to build an effective innovation culture, you should make conscious efforts to foster good collaboration both within your team and across departments. For example, some innovation activities inform teams about what is currently required and collate performance metrics, supply chain activities, and consumer feedback to improve your offering.
Collecting ideas lays the foundation for an innovation project. However, developing these ideas is equally important. This is not the sole responsibility of the one who came up with the idea. Everyone in the team (and even outside the team) should have the opportunity to share their thoughts on the idea and offer constructive feedback. Collective discussions of ideas thus produce merged ideas, which are, often, better than the original ones!
Now, it’s time to hear from you — how do you promote an innovation culture within your organization? Get in touch & let us know your tricks!