Creating Innovation at Workplace

In today’s world we have large libraries of information that we can access from no matter where we are in the world. In these libraries, information is transferred among us digitally. Over 90% of information created in the world is created in last 2 years. So we can refer to this time as ‘innovation age’. We are travelling at an exponential rate in terms of knowledge, information and innovation and if we follow the same linear pace we are following we are ultimately going to fall in the innovation gap like Kodak that filed bankruptcy in 2012.
“If the rate of change is higher outside then rate of change inside, the end of that organization is near.”– Jack Welch.
‘Business as usual is not an option today’. The riskiest course of action we can undertake is not to innovate and just keep going the way we are, assuming that we are working very well and we should continue with it. When we are not constantly innovating and bringing new changes to the business, once we face with business crisis, we panic and try to recover quickly, but at that moment it is too late. The best solution a company can adapt is to be “proactive rather than being reactive.”- Steve Jobs.
Innovation
Our understanding of innovation has evolved a lot over the last years. It is no more considered as part of research and development, inventions, science and technology, now it encompasses new leadership and management practices, innovation, can be constructive/destructive improvements people make on daily basis that can bring magnificent changes in themselves and their work place. Now it is considered as a habit that needs to permeate the entire organization so every person sees it as part of his/her responsibility.
Elements for culture of innovation
The world we live in today post war era in early nineties is referred as VUCA
V-> Volatile
U-> Uncertain
C-> Complex
A-> Ambiguous
Organizations having VUCA ready leaders who have the ability to negotiate are the high performance organizations having innovation culture. The innovative culture is:

  • Culture that support innovation
  • Culture in which people are operating
  • Having a shared Vision
  • Providing opportunity to employee
  • Having strong organizational trust
  • Encourages Autonomy
  • Give rewards
  • Foster sustained creativity
  • Formalized innovation practices
  • Advocate life-long learning
  • Allow failures
  • Build momentums

Problem that sabotage Innovative Culture

  • Absence of any systematic and strategic approach and a simple framework for promotion of ‘innovation culture’ in the organization. As a result people become frustrated and they lose interest.

10 Steps of developing innovation culture in the organization

  • Identify innovation opportunities by using matrices to identify where the opportunities might lie, or pre-test/survey of entire organization
  • Nominate your strategic outcomes
  • Negotiate the priorities together and decide on a starting point
  • Opening the mind of the people to new ways of thinking and doing things by educating them
  • Validate insights through application
  • Adapt models and tools of innovation
  • Take all team members and involve them in each decision and task
  • Implement the new ideas and processes throughout the organization
  • Own the outcomes, celebrate them, reward them and create success stories around them
  • Normalize the new policies, procedures, etc and embed them in the organization.

Benefits of creating an innovation culture

  • Enhanced communication and relationship across organization
  • More employee participation
  • Changed thinking and approach towards work
  • Increased staff confidence and risk taking abilities
  • Increased employee abilities to utilize tools and make innovative decisions

3 Mistakes to Avoid

  • People don’t do anything or take any action thinking its too hard
  • DIY approach. They try to it by themselves
  • They take the wrong kind of actions which is not compatible to their needs

Some organizations need helping hand in these areas to help them develop and utilize the right approach and tools to accelerate the outcomes and be much more productive and faster.

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