Most companies want to build a culture that forwards a decisive purpose with shared core values, innovation, collaboration, and growth. You may want to ensure that other elements of your particular company are part of the culture, but the above five factors are common among most businesses. However, many companies struggle with establishing a purposeful culture that includes all of the great things a business owner feels are intrinsic to the company.
In this article, we look at one of the aspects that many businesses find difficult to cultivate in the company culture. That is; innovation.
What is Innovation
According to Oxford Languages, “Innovate” is a verb meaning “make changes in something established, especially by introducing new methods, ideas, or products.”
It comes from the Latin “novus” meaning “new.”
Innovation looks different depending on the industry your business serves – and the department under discussion. For example, perhaps innovation in management would mean cutting out email and using a project management platform to share and store information instead. Or innovation in manufacturing could mean switching to a new, faster tool when machining a part.
There are many ways to innovate. Some of them are incredibly helpful and increase productivity. Other innovations hinder production and cause chaos. The balance of innovation in any business is, will an innovation promote success – or will it sow confusion?
How to Make Innovation Part of your Company Culture
As noted above, companies embrace innovation in different ways. With that in mind, here are five steps to making innovation part of your company culture without also creating a chaotic environment for employees and customers.
1. Build a structured revision process into existing processes and procedures.
By reviewing and revising processes on a set timeline, your team can innovate, provide new ideas, and have a chance to prove that they work. Once they’ve established that their innovations are helpful, they can be built into existing business systems during the pre-set revision timeline.
2. Set aside time and resources for innovation.
Significant innovations don’t just pop into one’s head fully formed while attending meetings, producing products, and doing 40 hours of work a week. They require time, training, and access to resources.
Set aside time for training and innovating. Ensure employees have a plan for how they will spend this time. It can be used to participate in training, perform research, and prove their ideas.
3. Create innovation teams.
Often, an innovation affects the whole company. Create a team or teams of staff who are interested in innovation and research. The team or teams may cross departments and might include only those staff who like to experiment with new things. No one should be forced into innovating if they would prefer to simply do the job for which they have been hired. But if you have some particularly innovative staff who have been clamoring for more training or who would love to implement new ideas, ensuring they have a team to work with can speed up innovation.
4. Build policies around innovation.
It may feel like innovation must be done with no guidance, but that’s a great way to implement actions that don’t lead to success. Instead, structured innovation within a controlled environment will show you what will lead to success – and what won’t. Build policies around that framework to ensure that your team’s innovations work for your business.
5. Provide innovators with space to use and a budget.
One policy to build into your innovation playbook is providing innovators with a space to use and a budget. The space may be virtual, and the budget might be minimal, but if you want your innovator group to prove that their innovations work – they will need to experiment somewhere.
Embracing innovation is a fantastic way to grow your business and create excitement in your company. However, it can also be challenging and confusing unless you have policies and procedures in place. Get in touch with Business Success Consulting Group to create the best policies, processes, and procedures for your innovative company.