Innovation is essential to success, especially in the tech field. Introducing new, useful products and services allow the best creative agencies to stand out from the crowd, while the competition struggles to follow in their footsteps.
The problem is, it’s not easy to cultivate and maintain a workplace culture where every member of the team feels inspired enough to come up with those new ideas. According to a McKinsey report, 94% of surveyed business leaders weren’t satisfied with the degree to which their organizations innovate.
This is likely due to failures in leadership. The team leader must be the one that encourages the kind of mindset and culture which yields innovation. They’re the one who ensures the company’s focus is forward-looking, instead of stagnant.
Luckily, it’s not impossible to correct a course even if a business has failed to create anything truly unique in a long time. If you’re trying to instill this value in your employees, keep the following tips in mind. They’ll help you form the necessary environment to achieve your goals.
Based on analysis by Gallup, it’s clear that recognizing an employee’s accomplishments motivates them to continue working hard.
Thus, if you want your team to innovate, you need to acknowledge and reward them when they do. This will trigger a chain reaction, in which other employees who also strive to earn company recognition generate new and unique ideas.
Consider Acquisitions & Partnerships
When Disney acquired Pixar, it broke free from the creative rut that had been plaguing the company for years.
Sometimes, the best way to inspire an attitude of innovation within your own company is to partner with others who already embody such values. While not all companies can acquire smaller businesses, it’s still possible to partner with vendors or take on clients whose contagious enthusiasm and creative energy will spread throughout the organization.
Set Aside Time
Employees may want to innovate. The fact that they aren’t already doesn’t necessarily mean they have no desire to; it could simply mean they’ve been trained to feel that it’s more important to focus on basic daily tasks. Team players don’t make their own rules, they live by the company’s.
In other words, you need to make sure your employees know there are certain periods of time when they are not only allowed to focus on creative side projects but are in fact encouraged to do so. Set aside a certain amount of time each week where immediate tasks may be ignored so your team can work on developing unique long-term ideas.
Hierarchy is another reason employees are often reluctant to pursue innovative ideas. They may feel it’s not their place to seek or suggest projects that haven’t been assigned or approved by the team leader.
That’s why it’s important to establish processes that encourage dialogue. Give your workers a chance to discuss their ideas with you, and make sure they understand that there’s no punishment for an idea that may not be as workable as they had hoped. Suspend judgment during these sessions, and eventually, your workers will feel much more comfortable bringing up their own creative ambitions.
Most importantly, don’t blame anyone other than yourself if your organization doesn’t innovate; it’s up to you to create the right culture for it. Accept responsibility, and you’ll soon find that your guidance can shift the workplace culture in the right direction: the direction that leads to true success.