As a leader, one of the best decisions you can make is welcoming change in the workplace. Often thought of as a buzzword, innovation truly is the key to unlocking productivity in your organization. Here are our top tips for cultivating an innovative environment in your workplace.
Lose the Ego
The easiest and quickest way to crowdsource innovative ideas from your workforce is to simply ask. If not careful, leaders often see themselves as the person who must have all the answers. Have an honest, engaging conversation with members of your organization and ask questions. Let them know that you are welcoming of any ideas they have for improvement or experimentation, no matter how small.
Introduce an Agile Methodology
Traditionally used in software development, an agile methodology focuses on breaking down large tasks into several small, incremental “sprints” that are completed on shorter timelines. By breaking down a large project with one major deadline into more manageable tasks, coupled by daily check in meetings for alignment, team members are empowered to collaborate, discover, and “fail fast”. Agile is best implemented in organizations looking to explore options and experiment in a fast-paced atmosphere. To learn more, check out this article by the Harvard Business Review and decide if introducing agile is the right decision for your organization.
Sometimes, the biggest mistakes lead to game-changing results. For example, the time-honored chocolate chip cookie was the outcome of a baking attempt gone wrong. In the 1930s, Ruth Wakefield added chocolate chunks to her cookie batter, expecting them to melt, and once baked, become chocolate-flavored cookies. What resulted was a failed chocolate cookie, but a perfect chocolate chip cookie. That failure led to the dessert industry-disrupting company: Nestlé Tollhouse, Inc. This concept applies to corporate experiments as well. Be willing to take a risk, and don’t be alarmed or defeated if the result comes out different than expected. Who knows, like the chocolate chip cookie, that mistake could be gateway to the next billion-dollar idea.
When a company or department can embrace these ideologies to engage in the forward-thinking process, they are on the fast track to innovation. And innovation is the lifeblood of a successful business model.
Debi is a coach to high performers, leaders and business owners wanting to achieve more and grow beyond what they believe is possible. Known for her clarifying insight and a pragmatic approach, Debi brings her clients to the next step by asking the right questions during strategy development and supporting them during strategy implementation. With experience in management, recruitment and employee development for various industries, she has a wide scope of expertise and will confidently guide you towards a successful future in your career.
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