7 ways to make your company more innovative
Follow these steps to take your business to the next level
by Jim Kerr
Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs once said that “innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower,” but what does it take to be innovative?
Below are seven things your business can do to increase innovation and productivity, and hopefully take things to the next level.
1. Encourage employees to bring ideas forward – It’s important for an employer to allow for discussions to happen in a group setting. This will get your employees engaged and help to foster the ideas that arise as a result of that engagement.
2. Incentivize brainstorming – Find ways to encourage the practice of brainstorming and testing out ideas. This could mean prizes for ideas or attempts at taking an idea to the next step (both successes and failure) and incentives for collaboration.
3. Don’t get bogged down – During these brainstorming sessions allow the group to “reset” by taking a break. You can take a walk, grab a coffee or do something else that will provide enough of a “distraction” that your employees are able to attack the problem with a fresh mindset.
4. Learn, learn, learn – Take time to debrief after these sessions and try to learn lessons from both your successful ideas and your failed attempts. There are lessons to be learned either way, and knowing that should help employees come out of their shells.
5. Set yourself up for success – Make sure that you are allocating the proper resources that will allow for innovation to take place. This includes personnel, as well as the time and financial commitments that are needed.
6. Find a balance – The ability to maintain a balance between letting the creative juices flow and creating “workable solutions” is one skill that will set you apart. Once you’ve determined what constitutes a workable solution for your situation, you can roll up your sleeves and start to get creative.
7. Innovation everywhere – For a business to excel at being innovative, it has to be a process that includes every level of your corporate structure. From the bottom to the top of a company, innovation has to be a part of the day-to-day process.
For a look at which Alberta companies are doing the most innovative things this year, click here.