The 10 biggest blockers of innovation list I published a few weeks ago hit a nerve! To me, The best way to kickstart innovation in your organization: is just to eliminate the biggest blockers and innovators will innovate!
Still, innovation is the opposite of easy; it’s not business as usual. Today I’m going to share the biggest enablers of innovation in an organization. But first, I’ll answer the tweet below:
Innovation is another code word for leadership. So, the biggest enabler of innovation in an organization is leadership. Why? Because leadership either enables or blocks the behaviors that drive innovation; the company culture. The company culture is a set of behaviors that you celebrate and don’t tolerate; it’s that simple.
Innovation can be fostered in an organization through several enablers that help to create a culture and environment that supports and encourages new ideas. Some of the biggest enablers of innovation in an organization include:
- Leadership support. Strong leadership support for innovation, both in terms of encouraging employees to come up with new ideas and in terms of allocating the resources necessary to put those ideas into practice.
- Empowerment. Giving employees the autonomy, resources, and support they need to experiment, take risks, and pursue new ideas.
- A culture of experimentation. There is no innovation without experimentation. Encouraging a culture of experimentation, where employees are encouraged to test new ideas and learn from failure.
- Diverse perspectives. Encouraging a diverse workforce, with people from different backgrounds, cultures, and experiences, to bring new perspectives and ideas to the organization.
- A focus on the customer. Encouraging a customer-centric culture, where the organization is always looking for new ways to meet customer needs and improve the customer experience.
- Open communication. Encouraging open communication and collaboration across different departments and teams, to facilitate the sharing of ideas and the pursuit of common goals. It’s also important to create psychological safety, creating a safe place for people to pitch their ideas.
- Flexibility. Encouraging a flexible culture, where the organization is willing to change its processes and ways of working to accommodate new ideas.
- Long-term focus. Encouraging a long-term focus and a willingness to invest in research and development to support innovation.
- Continuous learning. Encouraging a culture of continuous learning, where employees are encouraged to develop new skills and stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies.
- Recognition and reward. Recognizing and rewarding employees for their contributions to innovation, including both successes and failures, can help to create a culture of innovation within the organization.
Bottom line: Leadership is the biggest enabler of innovation. Leading by example, modeling the behavior, and creating an environment where it’s safe to fail.