Turning your organisation into an innovative business is a team effort. While having great ideas and visions for the company and sharing them with the other members of the team is the sign of a great leader, fostering innovation strategy and getting your colleagues to keep an open mind about opportunities for the business is just as important. Read on to learn some of the best ways you can encourage your fellow workers to be innovative and therefore make your organisation so.
What is innovation?
Innovation can be different things to many groups. In a broad sense, an innovative business is one that is always looking for new ways to do things better. Depending on your business, this can come in many forms. It can involve the way you interact with customers. Or it can pertain to the delivery of your goods or services. Understanding how to answer this question is the first step in opening the minds of your team.
How to boost innovation in the workplace
Here are seven things you can do to help encourage your team to keep innovation in the forefront of their thinking:
1) Set them free
Innovation in the workplace can come from anyone at any time if you let it. To do so, encourage a free flow of ideas in all sorts of settings. Make sure to let everybody speak their mind and throw ideas out in team meetings, or let your colleagues know that you love it when they come to you with new ideas for ways to do things. Everybody in your team will be coming from different experiences and roles in the business, and these different viewpoints can breed innovative ideas.
2) Give them time
Some of the issues that arise in innovation strategy involve not having enough time to actually play around and think about things. You might not be able to control how much business comes in all the time, and more business often leads to more success. However, if you can, try to schedule an hour here or there to rent a training room and get the team together to just think about what they can be doing differently.
3) Don’t be too strict
Give your team members a push in the right direction when it comes to getting them thinking about business innovation. But don’t go overboard. If you bang on about it too much, you’ll put your team members under pressure that can inhibit their ability to work and think freely. Too many guidelines can do the same thing.
4) Implement some of their ideas
Whenever you can, try to use some of these ideas to see if they will work. If you can’t fully enact the concepts, at least do some research to explore them more so your team knows that you are taking their thoughts to heart. Even if only part of the idea is applicable, make sure to let the person who put it forward as well as the rest of the team know that you are implementing it. This recognition will make them feel like their efforts are being valued and encourage them to keep trying.
5) Hire different types of people
Diversity in the workplace is integral for many reasons, one of which is the fact that is can greatly benefit business innovation. Assembling a team of people that have different experiences, both professionally and personally, ensures that you will get a variety of different viewpoints and methods for tackling issues. An increase in thinking methods can equal an increase in innovation in the workplace.
6) Let your team recharge
This concept closely follows the aforementioned idea of not being too strict with your team. If you’re working them to the bone, they’re not going to have time to think about anything other than the tasks at hand. If you keep their minds sharp with enough time off, you’ll have a better opportunity to benefit from their ideas.
7) Keep an eye outside the office
Staying on top of what others in your industry are doing can help give you and your team ideas that can benefit your organisation. When it comes to business innovation, there is no honour in continuing to do things in a less than optimal way. Feel free to use ideas from other companies if you think they suit your system.
If you help your team gain a handle on what innovation is in terms of your company and give your colleagues a licence to share new ideas whenever they feel like it, you will have the best chance of turning your enterprise into an innovative business. Implement these tips today and look forward to running a more efficient, productive organisation.