It doesn’t matter who works for you, who your customers are, or what your mission statement says. If you’re operating in a way that quashes innovation, your organization won’t survive.
Harsh, but true. Yet time and again, organizations focus on how to bring in the best and brightest without examining the company culture. That’s a huge oversight – innovation drives corporate success.
At Wahve, we foster innovation through a number of easy-to-implement steps.
Paving the Way for Employees: At our organization, we center every decision on how it will impact the innovative nature of our employees and teams. When management is committed to building a collaborative work environment, organizations see more productive, innovative team results.
Encouraging Creativity and Curiosity: Management should encourage all employees to think creatively. Each team member should feel free to share their ideas and be part of the larger brainstorming sessions. Even the smallest idea should be considered and encouraged. Team meetings and one-on-one meetings should give employees the opportunity to express their ideas and concerns.
Embracing a Growth Mindset: When you put your employees in charge of finding solutions, growth happens. Support your team with the tools and time necessary to experiment, fail, regroup, and improve. Brainstorming both ideas and failures can help your organization find a path to success much easier than discouraging employees when the ideas don’t quite work. No employee should feel discouraged about trying. Failures happen. What your organization does with those failures to turn them into learning moments or even turn them into success sends a strong message – we value and encourage innovation.
Cross-Functional Collaboration: Your employees are not working for separate organizations. Yet far too many companies have departments that never talk with each other. Imagine the ideas they could share for success if they were to collaborate! We encourage and promote cross-functional collaboration at Wahve. The result: the sharing of expertise and viewpoints have helped other departments solve some of their more critical issues. Having an outside set of eyes on a problem can often help your team find an innovative solution.
Empowering Autonomy: Give your employees the opportunity to spread their wings. Let them take ownership of their work and of an issue that needs to be resolved. We at Wahve have seen some very unconventional approaches that normally wouldn’t have been considered, and those approaches have been the right fit for solving the issue at hand. When your employees feel free to take calculated risks and own their solutions, innovation is bound to happen.
Investing in Learning and Development: The more you and your workforce know, the more confidence and skill you’ll have to innovate smartly. Continuous learning environments help to develop strong leadership in your workforce, improve employee satisfaction, build stronger working relationships, and give your team access to the latest skills and technology.
Rewarding and Recognizing Innovation: Show your team that their contributions have not gone unnoticed. Celebrate innovation through recognition programs, awards, incentives and personal acknowledgements during team meetings. That kind of recognition encourages your employees to innovate.
Adaptation and Evolution: Innovation isn’t static; it’s an ongoing process. Each organization must adapt constantly to the changes in the market and industry. If your organization puts innovation at the forefront of decision-making, it cannot help but grow and evolve with the changes in the market.
Infusing innovation into your business isn’t hard. It takes rethinking how employees can interact and add to the conversation. It also takes a commitment from management to embrace new ideas, work collaboratively with employees and teams to improve those ideas.