Many businesses limit innovative activities to particular individuals or specific departments in the organization. However, this approach often misses valuable innovations that could strengthen the business.
During my work as an Innovation Strategist, I’ve discovered that a better approach is to involve people throughout the organization and start building a culture of innovation. Think of your business as an “innovation team.” People from different parts of the company and with different job functions can work together as a team for purposes of generating innovations. Everyone has creative ideas, so everyone should be involved in the process of generating innovations. Brainstorming sessions can be more productive if you include people from different departments, who have a different perspective on the company’s activities. Train everyone on the team how to identify innovative ideas and provide examples of successful innovations (in your business or other organizations) that produced dramatic results for the company.
Schedule innovation contests and structured brainstorming sessions to generate creative ideas. Celebrate successful innovations that increase revenue, reduce expenses, or strengthen the company’s competitive advantage in the marketplace. Encourage creative thinking as part of the everyday job activities by incorporating innovation-related tasks in project checklists, employee goals and company guidelines.
Although scheduled brainstorming meetings are valuable, it is also important to encourage people to share ideas with one another and develop innovations in a less formal environment. This includes one-on-one brainstorming sessions and other impromptu gatherings to discuss ideas and solve problems.
Create your Innovation Team today and start developing an innovation culture in your business.