The corporate world is full of stories of companies putting themselves out of business by failing to innovate. Often the problem wasn’t a lack of innovative employees, but a lack of a system to encourage them. If there’s no room for innovation, or if it isn’t taken seriously, it won’t happen. Here are a few tips to avoid that from happening at your company.
Set aside time for innovation.
Consider starting a weekly or monthly meeting where employees can take the time to sit down and discuss new ideas. Innovation probably won’t happen just because you schedule it to, but the more you practice creative thinking, the more likely you are to see results.
Listen to everyone.
Innovation doesn’t always follow corporate hierarchy. Make sure everyone in your company, at all different levels, is heard equally. You never know where a good idea might come from. It’s just as likely to come out of the mailroom as out of a corner office.
Don’t say no.
When it comes to brainstorming, there are no wrong answers. Nothing stops a flow of ideas faster than judgement. If someone comes to you with what seems like a crazy idea, be open to it. If an idea is truly innovative, it’s more likely to sound crazy than rational.
Don’t punish mistakes.
So what happens when you act on someone’s great idea and it doesn’t work? As tempting as it may be, don’t criticize the person who came up with the idea. Support them in spite of it. If you punish mistakes, people won’t want to speak up the next time they have a eureka moment.
Take a step back.
Encourage your creative thinkers to imagine your company from the outside, either from the point of view your customers see, or from the point of view that your competition may see. It can be difficult to think from an outsider’s perspective, but the simple act of trying may lead to an unexpected conclusion.
For more ideas about how to encourage innovation in your company culture, contact a specialist at Contemporary Staffing Solutions!