Innovation is really about leadership. So how can you encourage innovation in your organization? There is no one thing, no recipe to follow. But, there are principles that you can follow to drive innovation in your organization.
Here are 5 ways to foster innovation mentality across your organization:
- Be bold. Playing it safe doesn’t require effort. Most people and organizations live in a repetitive loop, where their habits are in control. Going outside your comfort zone requires effort because you have to change your habits.
- Collaborate. Teams are responsible for innovation, not one individual. Specifically, homogeneous teams that don’t look, think and act alike. You have to bring different perspectives to the table to connect new dots.
- Fail better by celebrating learning from mistakes. Innovation is the opposite of easy. It’s hard. Really hard. Mistakes will be made, and you better make it safe to fail otherwise your efforts are doomed before you start. You have to focus on getting better, and the path to getting better will have mistakes, it’s why you have to celebrate effort and not punish people for making mistakes
- Obsess about customers. Ultimately, that’s who you’re creating for. So work for your customer not your company.
- Be stubborn on vision, flexible on details. Be happy when you change your mind, because that’s you are wrong and are learning. Therefore you’re set to figure out a way forward instead of stubbornly going down the same path with blinders on.
Remember leaders that drive innovation protect the future, not the past; because innovation is just a code word for leadership.
Bottom line: Leaders encourage innovation by modeling what drives it, not what impedes it.