10 Tips to Develop a Culture of Innovation at Your Company
Sometimes it feels like the queue of emails, piles of papers and ‘to do’ lists and all the rest of your life is just too overwhelming. Who has time for creativity or innovation? It’ll just mean more work and more pressure. Yet creativity is probably just what you need. A chance for that unique, creative voice to shine, to re-energise, reinvent and re-imagine. To think about and create a new future.
In this era of disruption, a culture of innovation is one of the main reasons for the success of many fast growing companies.
They use creative thinking to attack problems of all sizes and innovate new ideas, while many other companies are still afraid of harnessing creativity. Since we live in a business world that is changing so rapidly, it’s hard to keep up with the competition.
Thinking creatively and fostering a culture of innovation is a competitive advantage.
Here’s what you can do to develop a culture of innovation at your company:
- Fuel Passion: With a passionate and committed team, a realistic timeline and an aligned purpose, you can accomplish anything.
- Know your market: Knowledge is power in business. Stay abreast of what the competition are doing, what the media is saying and how consumer habits are changing. Learn from other sectors. Read diverse books and media and continue to learn about the broader challenges and opportunities caused by massive technological disruption across all sectors.
- Think outside the box: Innovation is all about exploiting an observed gap in the market so look at how you can fulfil that gap. Focus on your customer’s needs. How can you meet and exceed their expectations? To be the first to market you have to dare to be different!
- Stay focussed: Be really clear about what you want and how you will get there. Obstacles are the things you see when you have lost sight of your goal. Challenge negative thoughts.
- Never Give up: As Steve Jobs famously said: “Stay hungry, stay foolish” which means never be satisfied, and always push yourself. Research shows you need at least 50 ideas to get 10 potential projects, of which only two will be successful, so don’t be disheartened if your initial ideas aren’t a success.
- Maximize Diversity: Create opportunities for “positive human collisions” to occur. Connect people to others they’d be unlikely to meet. Bring together teams of men and women that are multi-faith, multi-generational and multi-cultural. Opportunities will spark!
- Celebrate and reward ideas: If you want your team to be creative, you need to establish an environment that rewards them for doing so. And remember that creative ideas need to make sense and must be implementable and of value. Ideas without an implementation plan are of little value.
- Be Courageous and Embrace Failure: In most companies, people are so afraid of making mistakes that they don’t pursue their dreams. We have a very risk-averse culture. I like to think of failure as the First Attempt In L Every great entrepreneur has failed many times on the way to success.
- Ask Questions and Be Curious: Innovators actively explore the environment, challenge status quo and investigate new possibilities. Ask questions such as: What if? Why not? What will be needed to make this work? Who will do it? How much time and budget is required? Also look at what you are already doing within your business. Can you build on an idea to better it?
- Flexible/Adaptable: Innovators can handle uncertainty, initiate new projects and are able to adjust the “game plan” as needed. Be prepared to pivot to meet changing circumstances and consumer needs.
To inspire you and your team’s creative juices, please watch and share my recent TEDxMelbourne talk viewed by over 17,000 people so far!:) At Creativity Australia we are changing the world, one voice at a time!
Tania de Jong AM is a leading Australian soprano, inspirational speaker, social entrepreneur, spiritual journey woman and creative innovation catalyst. She founded Creative Universe, Creativity Australia, Music Theatre Australia, Pot-Pourri and The Song Room and works with diverse communities through the ‘With One Voice’ choir social inclusion programs. Tania sings around the world as a soloist and with her group Pot-Pourri releasing 7 CDs. She is Founder and Executive Producer of Creative Innovation Global. Tania’s TED Talk How Singing Together Changes The Brain has sparked international interest. Tania has just released her solo CD Heaven on Earth.
Follow me on Twitter @TaniadeJong
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