Sr. Compensation Analyst,
How to Create a Culture of Innovation
Few organizations apply innovation at work, most others believe they do so when in fact they are reacting to market changes and competition. Innovation is a mind-set that allows you to envision a future and design something that would make that future possible. So why do so many organizations lag behind in being innovative?
While some of us would be tempted to believe that innovating organizations strike gold because they are lucky to have really talented people including a management that has a lot of “guts” and financial resources to take risks with products and services, the reality is that you can have all that and still not be a market leader. What drives innovation is all the above and a culture that enables the different stakeholders to play their part in creating and sustaining the conditions that lead to a successful venture.
The enablers of an innovative culture are as follows:
1) Promoting creativity at work: being vigilant in addressing problems, issues and opportunities while encouraging out of the box thinking, channeling new ideas and solutions, having forums for feedback, complains and suggestions and building a diverse pool of talent and experiences
2) Having a dynamic and agile organization that is quick in responding to any required and needed changes and initiatives. This includes having the necessary skills for, and access to, the tools and technology to facilitate and adapt during and after transitions
3) Allowing time and freedom for employees to gain exposure to best practices, develop a work-life balance that inspires creative problem solving and being tolerant of mistakes resulting from calculated risk-taking
4) Maintaining systems and processes linked to knowledge management such that the “Learning” organization has the resources and expertise available at all times to make and implement informed decisions and monitor and measure progress and results
Innovation need not be a new product or service, it could be a more efficient and less costly way of doing what is already being done. With the advancements in technology, it is now possible to simplify a number of activities such that employees, at an individual level, may spend more time in performing value-added and career-oriented activities, and collectively make a sustainable yet evolving organization.