Some people believe Innovation is all about grass roots idea creation and then letting that develop, others think it’s a matter of creating the right environment in which Innovation and new ideas can take place. I believe both are not only right but essential to Innovating In Business and I believe there is another element – the company must have the right ethos.
All too often bright new ideas are ignored because the company doesn’t recognize the value of them – and sometimes if it does, the innovators are seen as a bunch of people with wacky ideas. The result – a disillusioned employee at best and at the other extreme an exiting employee or group of employees on a mission.
So how can a company engender the right environment for talent to not only create but blossom?
Firstly there needs to be clear understanding of what the company’s overarching vision and ethos is, that it is clearly articulated and understood by all of the stakeholders in that business, and that the values the business has are convergent with those of the innovators.
Sometimes the innovators are corralled into a separate group and other times they are embedded in the main organization. Whichever it is, the framework needs to be there to identify and nurture good ideas, that can become great ideas – that can develop into game changers. My experience is that the best innovators are people who can not only see the better ways of doing something but those who quite often have already started to change the way they operate – these are the sowers of the seeds of innovation. Yet often this can just be seen as disruptive behaviour.
I’ve witnessed more than one company get to the point of serious conflict between the directors and technicians – the main issue being the technicians were innovating and providing what the market was demanding but not what the directors thought was wanted.
Innovating in Business = Ethos + Vision + Framework + Creativity + Execution