It is up to management to create a culture that fuels innovation, and there are some steps leadership should take to achieve that sort of workplace.
Innovation doesn’t just happen. It is the result of the sort of office culture that idolizes a forward-thinking approach. New strategies and products are hard to come across in a workplace that doesn’t actively seek them. That sort of pro-innovation attitude is a top-down value. It is up to management to decide whether the company should be one that promotes innovative work.
A lot of this comes through building a better culture. The sort of office that embraces employees, actively communicates values and goals and is open to new technology is more likely to achieve that culture. And with that, comes a workplace that drives idea generation.
Why is this important? Because innovation shapes industries and fuels careers, according to the Harvard Business Review. This sort of culture isn’t easy to create, though. The HBR called it “elusive.” This is especially true when leadership declines to take up a role in creating an innovative workplace. Without participation from management, it is very difficult to build any sort of positive culture, especially one that places a premium on idea generation.
There are a number of steps leadership can take to ensure the office is the sort that promotes innovation.
Live life on the edge sometimes
A little bit of risk can be a great thing in the workplace, according to Entrepreneur. New ideas come through experimentation. Sometimes that means mistakes, but those aren’t nearly as significant as the potential rewards. It is important to remember that mistakes aren’t necessarily bad things, but rather resources. They tell the company something about a product or strategy, and offer insight moving forward.
Don’t sleep on development
An investment in employees is an investment in innovation. Human capital management leaders can create development programs to train staff and give them the tools they need to act on ideas. Employees appreciate the acknowledgement that their success is the company’s as well. In addition, with the resources these programs provide, they will be in a better place to innovate.
Let innovation leaders innovate
Innovation leaders bound by traditional processes may feel hindered in their ability to generate ideas, Entrepreneur explained. Instead, give them the freedom to operate however they choose. Trust that these individuals know what they’re doing. This kind of support is appreciated, and will be beneficial to the company in the long run.
Totally embrace new technology
Technology lends itself to innovation, which is why leadership should be willing to embrace it. Smartphones, social media, wearable devices and all sorts of other services and tools can fuel innovative behavior. Employees want this technology, and by providing them with it you’re both keeping staff happy and giving them a better platform from which they can generate new ideas.