When your business exudes innovation, you are going to be known as someone who can creatively solve problems. This helps your business become recognized and it allows your employees to feel like an even bigger part of the team. In order to have this innovative atmosphere, you need to have a business that embraces a culture of creativity. Here are ten ways that you can create an overall culture of innovation that can benefit everyone involved.
Tell Everyone That Your Focus is Innovation
If you want to create an innovative culture, do not try and hide behind a mission statement that says you are going to do something else, make it public knowledge. Tell everyone who will listen, both inside and outside your company. The more accepted your innovative culture becomes, the more it is going to define you anyway. So, let your culture define you from the moment you make the choice to focus on that above the standard goal of a company.
Provide Free Time for Problem Solving and Creative Ideas
When a company wants an employee to come up with something creative, new, or that solves a problem, they need to provide the time and space to make that happen. If you want employees to do that on their own time, you are not going to foster a cooperative and creative culture. Give them a set amount of time each day, week, or month, to do nothing but come up with a new idea or the solution to a problem that the company faces as a whole.
Education and Encouragement
Both education and encouragement need to be a regular part of an innovative culture. First, employees need to be educated in their current role. This should be ongoing and should be a cooperative effort. They should feel like they know their job, and that they are a part of how the company is progressing. From there, the encouragement to do more should be constant. Higher ups and co-workers can do a lot to help encourage the creative sides of people when they encourage new thoughts, ideas, or solutions. If your company is not sure how to set this part of the culture in motion, you can always opt to turn towards a motivational speaker who has this type of experience. When the help of a motivational speaker is considered, it allows the company to show that they are thinking outside the box on ways to help employees promote growth and creativity as well.
Offer Advice and Direction, Then Let Someone Else Take the Lead
If you want to see just how innovative a specific group of individuals actually is, give them a chance. Come in, talk about a problem that you are trying to solve, and then back off. Let someone else take over and see what ideas come from the session. Each person that is there can include their own ideas, and they can bounce ideas off of each other. When one idea sounds like it may work for only a part of the problem, the other people can pick up where that idea leaves off. Then, when all of the ideas are combined, you may have the perfect solution. Plus, then you can see right where your people stand in terms of how innovative they already are.
Focus on the Overall Culture, Not Where Trends Might Go
A trend is only going to last for a short time, but the overall culture of your company is going to affect how everything within the company works. Your employee interactions, the dedication to the company, and how others perceive your company is all going to be, at least in part, determined by the culture your company has. Make a point of sticking with an innovative and creative culture because that is what is best for you. If a trend begins to show steadfastness, then you can consider adding to your culture, but do not waste any time or energy with that until you are sure it is something that could help for the long-term.
Find Symbolism That Works for Your Company
If you want to be able to boost your company’s ability to embrace an innovative culture, it needs to be meaningful. It needs to show that each contribution is important, and it needs to include management looking at what employees did just as much as employees looking over at what their co-workers did. Each person has value, and they need to know that their value is seen and felt. Find a symbol that shows this value, even if it only works inside your walls. Something as simple as a star helps a child feel as though they did something valuable to help their class, so go with the same principle. Find something small that can be passed around between employees and the higher ups that symbolizes the value each person and idea, has.
Figure Out How to Measure Your Company’s Innovation
You need to see how your company compares with others, but if you do not know how to measure what is happening, it can lead to a mess instead of creativity. You need to determine what is most important and meaningful for your company. Once you have made that determination, you can figure out how to best measure to see if those qualities are, in fact, rising. You may want to measure how often someone comes up with a new idea for your company, how many relationships are formed thanks to your innovative culture, or go with a specific metric that applies to your niche. Then, you can determine and track growth.
Compare Ideas of Today to Lessons from the Past
Most people realize that every idea most people think of today, someone thought of before. While we may never know what happened as to why it never came to fruition, but if we compare the ideas, we may learn something new about it. Encourage each person to look at their idea alongside ideas that are similar from the past. If there was a reason the idea didn’t take off then, make sure it is not going to stop it currently. If it is, then figure out a solution to that problem directly and see if you can make something new again.
Make a Point of Encouraging Each Achievement
No matter how large or how small a person’s achievement is, encourage it. Talk about it openly. Make a big deal about it and recognize how hard that person worked. Also, explain how it can help with a problem within the workplace as well as outside the workplace. Each creative idea has a place, so make sure to mention where this innovative idea fits.
Also, Make a Point of Accepting Failure
Failure is going to happen now and again, no matter how creative or innovative your culture is. In fact, it is likely going to happen more if you are encouraging creative thoughts and actions. You need to accept these failures and be open to discussing them. Where one person may see a failure, another may see a solution that could work around what previously failed. Each time you fail, talk about it with others around you, or with the company as a whole. Each mind that makes up your company is going to have something unique to provide the situation, so take advantage of the minds that come from within your walls.
An innovative culture is important. Every company wants to foster ideas of creativity, problem solving, and cooperation. These are some great ways of adding more innovation to your company’s current culture. If you have extra ideas that may help, talk to us. We would love to see what ideas worked for you, what ideas were flops, and why they worked or didn’t work for you!