In this competitive day and age, a business can stand or fall based on its ability to innovate. Which is why it’s so important to foster a culture that’s conducive to creative thinking and open to new, potentially out-of-the box ideas.
But how does one foster a culture of innovation?
There are a number of easy steps a company can take to encourage innovation. First, the company’s leadership must be in agreement about this new way of thinking. After all, the mindset and goals of the leadership affect every aspect of the company’s performance and results. Second, the leadership and its employees must expect the unexpected. For what is innovation but the development of something unforeseen.
Looking to create a culture of innovation in your company? Here are five ways Safeguard recommends kickstarting creative thinking among your employees:
While it’s tempting to expect all new ideas to come from the loudest, most successful voices in the room, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, the best ideas come from the least likely of places. Consider Walt Disney, who was fired from his job at a newspaper because he had little imagination and no new ideas — only to later become the man behind the screen. Or Henry Ford, who attempted to build two automobile companies that ultimately failed before he started Ford Motor Company. By being open-minded, you might just find a gem of an idea in the unlikeliest of employees.
Along the same lines, if you aren’t willing to listen to an employee’s new idea, you aren’t going to know whether it’s worth trying. Be creative when it comes to listening. Carve out time for pitching ideas. Encourage employees to converse about innovation with one another. Don’t lose out on a great innovation just because you didn’t have the time to learn about it.
While sometimes innovative ideas develop from the mind of one person alone, more often than not, the best innovations result from collaboration. That’s why it’s important to create teams with individuals who have different strengths and can bounce ideas off of one another. Several minds are better than one, and when you have a great team that works well together, you’re likely to generate great ideas.
Often, you have to cycle through dozens of bad ideas before a great one emerges. Instead of feeling down every time you fail, expect failure as part of the process. This will help you move on from failure when it happens, and perhaps even propel you toward a great idea you wouldn’t have if you hadn’t failed.
Encourage one another.
What better way to foster a culture of innovation than by encouraging your employees to think creatively? When an employee comes up with a new idea, even if it’s not one the company eventually embraces, remember to thank and praise him or her nonetheless. This will provide the confidence and foster the initiative to create new ideas in the future.
Want more tips on creating a culture of innovation? At Safeguard, we offer a variety of business services and we would love to chat with you about the best way to advance your goals. Don’t miss out! Schedule a consultation with a Safeguard consultant today!