Creating a company-wide culture of innovation is a big undertaking, as this requires an environment that supports creative thinking and advances efforts to extract economic and social value from knowledge, and, in doing so, generates new or improved products, services or processes.[i] In 2016, the Boston Consulting Group stated that innovation was the number one priority for 72% of companies, and Ernst and Young predicted that 50% of a company’s revenue in five years would come from sources that currently didn’t exist.[ii] An organization should always be looking for ways to improve, and new ways to do things.
Increased Workplace Productivity
An innovative culture encourages employees to think outside the box, and it promotes workplace productivity. This culture requires advances in processes for discovery and experimentation[iii], which all generate excitement. New, fresh ideas can arise from working and collaborating with team members and listening to other points of view. Creative problem-solving is critical in an innovative culture because every employee’s idea is to be valued and given equal weight.[iv] An innovative workplace culture recognizes every employee’s contributions and pushes them to move forward and see where it takes them.[v]
Clear channels of communication open the door for an innovative culture and acting on good ideas. The freedom-within-boundaries environment comes from management down, beginning with being more open-minded and less judgmental to the suggestions of the team.[vi] A manager’s, or management team’s, patience to allow staff to craft and foster creativity is vital to the strength of an innovative culture. While failure in some respects is inevitable, the possibility of its occurrence shouldn’t scare off your staff. By pushing innovation and creativity, your organization will reap the benefits of increased motivation, passion, problem-solving, and team bonding.
With a culture of innovation comes risk, as creating something brand new with an element of the unknown is risky. That’s why establishing a level of trust within individual teams and the organization is necessary to make employees feel comfortable with sharing ideas, and the freedom to let them have greater control over their work. Letting managers know what goals the organization wants to achieve and having a clear strategy gives a measurable direction for employees to achieve.
When you’re cultivating an innovative culture, you’re creating something unique. This culture should always align with organizational values and goals, and if it does, your organization will be on the path towards creative thinking and greater business results.