4 Ways to Encourage Innovation
Innovation is the lifeblood of any business, regardless of the size or industry. Without finding faster, stronger, cheaper, and better ways of doing things, there is no way to remain competitive in the fast-paced global economy. Unfortunately, for as important as innovation is, it is also extremely elusive. There is no way to snap your fingers and suddenly do things in a way that has never been done before. Luckily, there are some proven strategies that can be implemented to support the fertile conditions that lead to innovation.
Offer Incentives and Rewards
Ironically, for as valuable as innovation is, companies are often unwilling to assign it its true worth. That leads team members to keep great ideas to themselves and to put little effort into thinking differently. The simple fact is that employees are spurred on by rewards, and if they know they can earn money, vacation time, or some other perk for being innovative, they will look a lot harder at the way things are done now and the ways they could be improved.
Enable Project Ownership
One of the biggest obstacles to innovation is often just the rigor of daily responsibilities. Team members have to focus on A,B, and C throughout the day, and don’t have the time or permission to focus on X. Many of the world’s most innovative company’s give team members the space and freedom to pursue their own projects and interests alongside their chief responsibilities, and that strategy has produced a number of exciting breakthroughs.
Don’t Penalize Failure
Why isn’t your company more innovative? It might be because too much penalty is placed on risk taking. Team members are afraid to try things differently because they fear it will affect their chance of getting promoted or the size of their bonus. In this kind of environment, innovation is at best anemic and at worst impossible. Give your team permission to try things that probably won’t work, and eventually they will find something that does.
Solicit Ideas Anonymously
Closely knit teams sometimes develop a herd mentality. And while this can be great for productivity, it can stifle anyone with an innovative idea. The solution is to simply make it possible for team members to submit ideas anonymously. Something as basic as a locked wooden box filled with scribbles on scraps of paper may yield an idea that revolutionizes the way you do things.
If your team is struggling to be innovative, the missing piece could be the right new member. Get introduced to a roster of top talent with fresh ideas and new approaches by contacting Artemis Consultants. As a leading recruiting and staffing firm, Artemis can help find innovative superstars to give you a competitive advantage.