How to Increase Innovation In Your Business or Organization?
Innovation in your business or organization can’t be your sole responsibility. Sure, maybe at first it might work if you are the sole innovator.
Over time, however, this is not sustainable. After all, if your business cannot survive and grow without you, then you don’t “have a business” but rather you ARE THE BUSINESS. In such a case, your business has no real “value” and you my friend, have no real exit strategy in sight.
Instead, you must be “raising” an organization that cannot only survive, but thrive, without you.
Supporting — and even teaching — innovation is a big part of a valuable business’ success, sustainability, and future growth. [H2}
How can we help our businesses — and the teams that comprise those businesses — be more innovative? [H3]
- Be the example.
While you shouldn’t be the only innovator or employee practicing innovation, you should definitely be the first and most prominent. Your employees will usually follow your lead in many areas and if you are consistently considering and exploring ways to do and produce innovation, you will inspire others to follow and your business will usually flourish because if it.
2) Take it easy.
Just as you can’t perform as well or be as creative as possible when you are overworked or over-stressed, the same is definitely true for your employees. Look for ways to stimulate joy and consequently, creativity, in your team so that their mind has a chance to explore options and wander in productive ways that often deliver some of the greatest innovations businesses will ever experience.
3) Get to know your market better.
To know what problems your market has — either old problems or new —you have to really get to know them. At the basic level, this can be accomplished to a degree through examining and considering your current customers. Examining data is one way to do this. However, surveys can be very helpful in getting to know customers and you can then use this information gathered to create customer profiles or “personas.” Personas are character sketches of current customers that allow you to really understand your entire base better. Subsequently, you can recognize or uncover what gaps they might have that you can fill either with current products or services, or your current products or services repurposed or repositioned in a new way. For example, figuring out how to give more benefits with the same product(s) can often help you reap huge rewards.
4) Remove barriers to innovation—messy hurdles or unnecessary red tape— and give team members the opportunity to be innovative and then the ability to take action.
One of the worst things you can do as a leader is inspire innovation and then put barriers in the way that prevent your team from being able to see their innovative ideas through to completion. We’ve ALL had the experience of being soooooo…. excited about a new idea or possibility only to have “red tape” basically squash it in its tracks. Clearly, if that happens —or especially, happens too often—over time, that will also kill the desire of employees to even TRY to innovate.
5) Give your team a reason to CARE about innovation.
Ideally, we’d all want a team that cares about the organization as much as we do. And while you will almost always have a few employees who do that just because that’s who they are, those people will be the exception. In general, if you cannot tell your team “WIIFM” (what’s in it for me) you will not get their buy-in and thus, any possibility of innovation will sputter and die. Therefore, bring your people in to the process of innovation early and encourage their participation in the process, creating an environment where they feel heard, respected, and appreciated. Then, reward effort in addition to achievement.
If you start to incorporate just one or two of the above ideas into your business, you should see the level of innovation in your company start to improve. [H3]
In no time at all, you will be able to add more of the ideas and even come up with your own. Basically, with innovation, the sky is truly the limit. And of course, so are the results your business is able to attain as a result!