How do Companies Build a Culture of Innovation
Change is scary. Most people fear it. Organizations love it! No one likes the unexpected. Especially employees when it comes to their jobs. Uncertainty brings the worse in people. Staff becomes hostile to protect their position on the corporate ladder by any means possible. This social problem makes it difficult for organizations to innovate their business. You can not bring in new technology and improve existing processes with resistance. You need to have a strategy in place to make a difference. How do companies build a corporate culture to foster innovation and change?
The question about innovation is what we are going to tackle today. The corporate culture that drives innovation comes from personal experience and research. Before we do, we must understand why change is essential for company growth.
Why is Innovation Important for Organizations
Innovation allows you to compete in the marketplace against your competitors. You need to have an advantage in making a product by either being cheaper, better, or faster. Your products and services must be in constant development mode for improvement. If you do not innovate, then your competitor will drive you out of the industry. The advantage of innovating is that it will help you achieve higher profits by doing something better. Innovation can help you disrupt the market and bring in new customers to your organization.
Every company would like to be on the cutting edge of innovation. In reality, this is hardly the case. The reason could be money, research, management, strategy, processes, or people. I believe that the crux of the problem is usually around people. A discussion about people and how to make them comfortable with change is what we are going to discuss further.
Leaders must lead their workforce.
For a company to build a culture of innovation, everything starts from the top. The Sheppard must lead the sheep. Company employees look at management to make them feel secure with their jobs, provide direction towards corporate goals, and make the company better. When leaders do not lead their staff, then there is a divide between management and employees. Leadership has a direct impact on building a corporate culture for employees to feel comfortable with change. The company’s responsibility is to make sure that they staff their organization with capable managers. The managers must get custom training on corporate values, ethics, and leadership. Managers must have the tool-kit necessary to communicate the change to their staff.
Build a corporate culture where it is safe to make mistakes.
When people are afraid to make mistakes at work, this hinders company growth. The reason is that jobs are their livelihood. No one wants to make a mistake and feel that he or she may lose their job. The potential to lose their jobs leads to employees covering up their problems at work, making excuses, and not fixing issues that could hurt the company. When you build a corporate culture where it is ok for people to learn from their mistakes, then you are creating a foundation for innovation. The reason is that people will seek answers from others to resolve an issue. They will feel empowered to try new things to make their organization better.
Have value-added meetings to get the team on the same page
Share information with staff about the current state of affairs with the company. When you communicate with people, then they all feel united with a common purpose. You do not want employees to feel shell-shocked when a piece of bad news hits the company. You want your staff to understand the importance of doing things differently.
Encourage competition and celebrate innovation
You want to reward people for being competitive in a healthy environment for foster innovation. You want to give bonuses, certificates of appreciation, take them out to lunch to show what the company values the most. When people take notice of rewards for innovation, then everyone wants to come up with new ideas. People start to share thoughts, improve existing processes, and make the company better.
Building a culture of innovation is essential for the company to thrive. Business is becoming more global, competitive, and consumers are hungry for new products. The only way to satisfy the demand for new products is to have new ideas in the pipeline. Research and develop your plans to improve on existing products or create new ones. Innovation is the key to growth. Company innovation only happens if the company culture accepts change.