‘Technology tools are helpful but they aren’t a substitute for human creativity’. I read this from HR bartender blog authored by Sharlyn Lauby, one of my favorite HR thought leaders. Where she was talking about the best way to innovate today! Read it here!
As she mentioned the best way to innovate is to leverage the people and corporate culture that you already have in place.
Those are the two pivotal factors and any mismanagement of those can go wrong especially when your talent has an innovative idea in making.
Here are a few things I would add to spur innovation at your organization
Start taking some risk
Naturally most employers go the direction of less risky way and want to make sure they know what the outcome is going to be. But if they go too far in that direction they stop learning new things and stop innovating.
Get rid of the cultural barriers
Fear of failure can be a biggest cultural barrier. Inability to admit failure leads to inefficiencies and bigger failures. So Leaders should support failures and embrace it to develop the untapped potential in employees. Create an environment where failures are accepted and encouraged. Let employees try something that is worth trying.
Sue Shellenbarger, Work & Family columnist , Wall Street Journal News Editor says employers are rewarding employees for their mistakes or questionable risks. Keep in mind – Not the same mistakes! For example: Grey New York, an Advertising Company fosters a culture of creativity by rewarding the Heroic Failure Award to embrace the importance of trying, failing, dusting oneself off and trying again. Read it here to know more about their inspirational ideas in encouraging employees to innovate. Another example is the P&G’s Future works program, a separate division within the company, that invites employees to partner and to preserve a climate of innovation.
Learn from the mistakes
Give your employee an opportunity to openly share their mistakes and the lessons they learn from it. This will help nurture a relationship where trust, togetherness and constructive criticism are valued and appreciated. Emphasize sharing stories of failure within the organization just as much as you do with stories of success.
Create a work environment
Have a focus group or committee, or a system for employees to communicate their ideas. Companies do various types of initiatives to help their employees to relax, dust off their minds and to let them think of innovative ideas. For example Grey New York has a ‘No Meeting Zone’ every Thursday mornings from 9 to noon where they encourage everyone to do something challenging, new or unexpected.
And why do you think the best innovative companies like Google, Zappos, Facebook, Twitter etc keep an incredibly casual work environment.
Do you have any other ideas to spur innovation in an organization? Have you ever noticed a great work culture that encourages employees to take risks and innovate? Share it here, Would love to hear from you!