Fostering a culture of innovation begins and ends with an open mind about change. In order to promote an innovative workplace, no matter what the sector, there should be a continual exchange of ideas to result in the right balance for your company. Yes, you need creativity at the forefront of it all, but this isn't something that can be forced. However, positioning your firm to achieve a successful approach to innovation takes a few key motivators, from flexibility in the work environment to hiring team members for a vision that aligns with yours. Let's take a look at some of the best ways to foster an innovative workplace.
Building a Creative Mindset
This all starts from the ground up with the people you decide to bring on board to take this journey with you. The wrong employees can prove to be toxic to your overall vision of creativity, change and flexibility in the work environment. It doesn't mean you have to only hire people who agree with you all the time; it's more than that. You want to encourage different perspectives by hiring people who are passionate about what they do, with the flexibility to spur on productivity without being hampered by rigid thoughts, ideas or scheduling parameters, says Forbes.
Here are some tips to achieving that sought-after creativity:
There's no denying technology is a big piece of the innovation puzzle. After all, how can you expect to compete in today's global market if you're not on board with the latest technology? Innovation often goes hand in hand with technology, but it doesn't have to. In fact, you can be innovative at little or no cost. Innovation, at its very core, is something more than that. Lou Gerstner, former CEO of IBM, put it best in Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance: "In the end, an organization is nothing more than the collective capacity of its people to create value." You can have all the strategy, marketing, technology and financial management skills in the world, and although all those things will help get you on the path to success, it may not necessarily keep you there. Bottom line is, you won't get far if innovation, flexibility, and creativity aren't ingrained in the company's soul.
Brian, I like your ideas for creating an innovative environment. One thing I would add would be to encourage education from a broad perspective, i.e. not just career development. Some of the most innovative places I've visited have shared libraries (physical books as well as audible libraries) where people can read and discuss ideas from a wide range of subjects, not just their particular industry. They are encouraged to pull ideas from other industries and applications to their particular field. Good thoughts on the subject!
I LOVE THE IDEA OF SHARED LIBRARIES AND BOOK CLUBS IN THE WORK PLACE. THEY CAN NURTURE CREATIVITY, PERSONAL GROWTH, AND TEAM BUILDING. TO PARAPHRASE PHIL JACKSON, THE STORIED BASKETBALL COACH, SOME MANAGERS LIKE TO KEEP THEIR "SUBORDINATES" OFF BALANCE BUT HE PREFERS TO NURTURE THEIR CREATIVITY AND SPIRITITUALITY.
Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a shepherd. Without innovation, it is a corpse. Winston Churchill
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