Ten Steps to an Innovation Culture
Every leader should ensure their team has the right environment in which to innovate, it just makes good business sense. Here are our Managing Director Jo North's top tips on how to get it right at your organisation:
1. Make sure employees feel a sense of commitment to the goals of the organisation.
2. Allow everyone the freedom to make decisions and to show initiative.
3. Encourage idea time - and don't limit who can come up with the ideas; you might find one department has a clever suggestion for another.
4. Maintain the right level of stress: enough to avoid boredom, not enough to create anxiety.
5. Discourage unhealthy politics and conflict.
6. Encourage healthy debate. The more discussions, the more ideas; the more ideas, the more great ideas; and the more those great ideas are discussed, the more likely you are to spot any pitfalls early on.
7. Show support for ideas - many of the greatest innovations will have sounded crazy at first, so keep your mind open and listen to employees' suggestions.
8. Encourage playfulness. Children learn through play, and so can we. Try to recapture some of that wonderful unhampered creative energy of childhood.
9. Allow appropriate risk taking as without risk there can be no innovation. Some ideas will inevitably fail, but you learn from them, and in the end they will be worth it for the ones that do succeed.
10. Ensure decisions are made and acted upon swiftly. The early bird catches the worm as they say.
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