One adjective that every company wants attached to their name is ‘innovative’. Whilst it’s positive for every company to strive towards an innovation culture, only a few truly achieve it.
In our upcoming ‘Innovation 101’ series we are going to look at a range of hurdles which companies looking to create an innovation culture will have to overcome.
For the first instalment we’re going to take a look at the implications of a lack of a shared vision.
Innovation requires leaders, it needs people to galvanise behind a cause and often it’s easier for people to do this when they can put a face to the goal. This is why leadership is one of the cornerstones of innovation - with it essential that management has the backing of the entire company.
Employees need to understand why the company wants to grow and have belief in the methods that have been chosen. Sometimes this can be problematic for a company’s old guard, as it may be natural for them to abide by the same processes which made the company successful in the first place. Despite this, innovation leaders should be capable of energising even their most established employees.
A lot of this is to do with creating a sense of urgency. Although declaring a complete state of panic is not recommended, a little urgency is required to get people up and listening.
As mentioned before, getting the old guard onboard can be a real hurdle, and can ultimately affect an organisation’s chances of successfully creating a shared innovation vision. Often, the people who’ve been with the company for the longest command the most respect and therefore they are almost always a powerful group.
Due to this, leaders need to create a vision which everybody in the company can get behind. It needs to be inspiring, involve everyone and most importantly set the company up for the future.
To make the vision effective, companies must understand the marketplace and relate this to the company’s vision. It must be founded in realism and create urgency for it to be successful, and whilst this is easier said than done, with the correct planning your vision could become the ideal foundation for your future innovation initiatives.