While setting up a company, people talk a lot about innovation. Being innovative while bringing a product or service to market is not enough. For a company, it is imperative that they maintain a culture of innovation within the organisation. In an atmosphere where innovation is widely accepted, new ideas are welcomed, and creativity is encouraged, a company like this will always stay ahead of the competition.
Personally, I have always been a lover of innovation. Maybe that is why I could leave the position of a technocrat and start working in sales and marketing, which actually helped the company get millions of dollars in revenue. It was my thirst for innovation and creativity that led me to the next phase of my career, as an entrepreneur after leaving my lucrative career at its peak. This is the reason why, in my company, I love to work with team members who don’t shy away from being innovative and resourceful. This quality reflects how they can be if given a leadership position.
Example of Innovative Culture in Organizations
When it comes to fostering an innovative culture within the organisation, Google is the best example for anyone. What policies do they have to encourage innovation?
Google’s famous 20% time policy is actually about encouraging the staff to spend 20% of their time outside of the primary responsibilities of their projects. During this time, they can pursue their passion project, work on new innovative concepts, and so on.
Their innovation labs and hackathons encourage the team members to collaborate and brainstorm together.
Google stresses a "fail-first" policy that allows the staff to approach a project without the fear of failing. The perception of treating failures as learning experiences is a great thing.
Google’s supportive leadership has made it possible for the company to establish a culture of innovation quite organically.
In fact, in my personal experience, I have seen that people, given a chance and a changed environment, can even perform better. I have worked with excellent team players as well as geniuses who prefer to work alone. Often, the ones who are lone wolves underperform when forced into a team. But when they are working alone, they are outstanding. To recognise these qualities in your employees, you must create a culture of innovation in your organisation.
The Importance of Innovation Culture within the Organisation
Innovation culture is a certain type of work culture that encourages innovation and fosters an environment where employees collaborate and brainstorm together to ensure growth.
What is the importance of an innovation culture? Take a look.
The market's needs are constantly changing. To keep up with that, any company needs to change their business model, create new products, and go beyond the traditional ways to meet the customer’s expectations. This can happen with innovation. Companies that foster an innovation culture can come up with unique new ideas that solve problems for consumers while penetrating the relevant market.
As a leader, you want to hire the best talent out there. But what is the point of that if you force these talents into a pre-determined culture that has existed for ages? Instead, you should encourage them to innovate, rely on their insights, and value their input. That will ensure their personal growth and the company's growth.
You launch a new product that will solve problems for your customers. Now, your competitor will launch something similar with a little bit of tweaking here and there to engulf your market. To outrun them, some other company will do the same. But how can you get ahead of this rat race? Your innovation culture will help you come up with something unique for a pain point that your competitors have yet to think about. That happens when you let your team members be innovative.
So, how can you be an innovative parent and foster a culture that ensures sustainable growth for your organisation? Follow these steps for that:
Support Diversity and Inclusion
In a rapidly changing world and perceptions, it has become paramount for an organisation to not only acknowledge but also support diversity and inclusion. People from different backgrounds, ethnicities, and communities should feel safe in the work environment to express their ideas and opinions. LGBTQIA+ communities, as well as people of colour and women, should all get not only equal opportunities but also their inputs valued at work. To create such an environment, a leader should be proactive.
Create Positive Energy
People in leadership positions should be accountable for creating positive energy at work. No matter how talented your team is, if they are working with a sword hanging over their heads that one mistake can lead to unemployment, then they will never be able to innovate and perform. Create a culture where mistakes are accepted. For that, as a leader, you have to become self aware. We all make mistakes, don’t we? Mistakes are how we learn. One mistake means you get another chance to do it right. So, encourage your team members to innovate. Tell them that even if they make mistakes, they can still get another chance. Your positive energy should be infectious to make them feel more positive.
Invest in Their Growth
I strongly believe in empowering staff members. When I hire people, I make sure that I am onboarding the right talent for the job. Now, to make them feel valued and accountable within the organisation, it is necessary to empower them. So, I believe in investing in them. At MSys, we offer multiple training and upskilling programs along with certifications that help them become empowered. In turn, they will come up with innovative solutions to problems that will help the organisation grow faster. So, if you want to create an innovation culture, investing in and empowering your employees is a must.
To sum up, an innovation culture looks and feels democratic, where everyone is treated equally and given equal opportunities. This culture encourages learning, achieving, and being forthcoming with input. Build your organisation this way, and you never have to worry about its progress and growth.