Innovation is a commonly uttered word among entrepreneurs, business owners, and company executives. Many of them continuously aspire to always be innovative and creative. These days, most companies even have their own innovation management programs in place or they have an innovation management team whose function is to drive the employees’ innovative and creative thinking and to handle decision-making when it comes to innovation ideas.
There are many ways to encourage innovation in the workplace. Some companies have mentorship programs, an open culture to ideas, or even internal competitions like the Planbox Shark Tank. When trying to come up with ways of boosting innovation and creativity in your company, you shouldnot forget to avoid making these mistake:
- Not making room for mistakes. Mistakes are inevitable in an innovative company and it is an even bigger mistake not to give your employees the room to make them. Do not be intolerant of mistakes because most of the time, an idea will only be great after numerous attempts and failures. This also means not punishing any idea that fails commercially. If you punish your employees for every commercial failure, even your employees with the most creative and brilliant minds will eventually learn to play it safe, foregoing any risky ideas they may have. Unfortunately, a lot of big successes come from some of the riskiest ideas, so not pursuing any risky idea will make your company miss out on many potential successes.
- Not involving everyone. When it comes to innovation, the more minds there are, the better your chances of coming up with a great idea. There are different aspects of your company and you would get the perspectives from these different aspects only if you involve everyone. Encourage everyone to share their ideas and to be more proactive.
- Thinking of innovation as temporary. Once you have decided that you want innovation in your company, then it should be part of your company culture. Push it to the top of the list of what your company values. Make it part and parcel of everything that your company does.
- Not focusing. Even if you have made innovation a part of your company culture, it doesnot mean that you should keep it an open, anything-goes kind of thing. Help your employees out by focusing on the problems that the company is facing, the processes that need to be improved, or the products that need to be created. Be specific when you ask your employees for something – set mechanisms or criteria when asking them to come up with ideas and clearly define the problems that you want solved.
- Not providing resources. Whether you are pushing for solutions to company problems or demanding innovative ideas, you should provide resources that will help your employees. It can be something as simple as a well-stocked library and company subscriptions to relevant literature or something as elaborate as a fully-equipped laboratory. The important thing is that your employees will have access to whatever they need to stimulate their creativity and to test out their ideas.