Do we make innovation more complicated than it has to be? Anyone can bring innovation to their organization and it doesn't take much time or investment to do it.
If you want more innovation in your company, try these 5 things:
1. Hire for creativity.
Take a look around your conference table. Everyone may (or may not) look different but to they think differently? The World Economic Forum's 4th Industrial Revolution by Klaus Schwab predicts that creativity will be the third most important job skill by the year 2020. If you want real innovation, hire creative people.
2. Celebrate failure.
The fastest way to kill innovation is to punish failure. Encourage experimentation and question everything. Innovations will come from this, and so will the occasional failure. Choose to celebrate a team’s failures more than their victories, and boldness will follow.
3. Triage and treat ideas quickly.
Triage is about deciding and prioritizing quickly and methodically. It works in medicine and can work equally well for your innovations. Not every idea is a good idea. There is such a thing as a bad idea. Quickly put your resources behind the viable ideas, to keep the innovation momentum going. Ideas that are not considered viable should never be discarded. Catalog and store them in their present form - they may prove valuable or generate other ideas in the future.
4. Be fearlessly transparent.
Fearless transparency is a catalyst for idea generation. Think about it. Total transparency identifies problems to the innovators. Problem solving is what fuels the innovator. Innovators are constantly ideating and creating, wherever they are, even after leaving the office. They combine their activities and associate different experiences so they are always problem solving in their heads. It's is in their DNA. So if they are constantly thinking about better ways to do everything, why not unleash the innovators on company problems?
Want even more results? Incentivize collaboration and diversity of thinking.
5. Create an innovation environment - not a culture.
Talking about creating an innovation culture is perceived as just that: talk. It is often an indicator of being simultaneously out of touch and inauthentic.
A genuine innovation culture is an organic, somewhat serendipitous consequence of your hiring practices, the environment you create for exploration, the cross pollination driven by total transparency, and what you do with failure.
How will you invite more innovation into your company?