We're aware that innovation can be an overused term these days, but that just points to the fact that it is vital to business success and at the forefront of any forward looking business.
A culture of innovation is crucial for a business to develop ideas. This is not as simple as having a well-penned line in a mission statement or creating an innovation committee. A culture of innovation is built over time and needs to involve every employee.
Employees are at the heart of innovation
After all it is your employees who are involved in every area of your business, and they are uniquely placed to offer ideas and solutions for improvement in business operations, product development and meeting your customer demands.
We speak to many people who with good intentions, have designed different ways of encouraging innovation amongst employees. This may be a process designed for creating ideas, a market research programme or a change in the working environment to motivate employees and encourage them to “get in the zone”; maybe a carefully designed breakout area or a chilled-out canteen.
At G2 we're currently re-modelling our office space. Our team has recently expanded and we want to create break-out spaces, for people to be able to think, innovate and get on with work in quiet zones. We recognise that if we want our team to be creative, we need to create the right space.
However, these processes alone won’t add value in isolation. It’s no use building up a bank of ideas and knowledge, if there isn’t a process in place to select the best ones as a starting point for exploration.
The ideas need to be refined, designed and developed at minimal cost to create maximum impact. There is no use in having a creative office which promotes collaboration with no known method for turning these partnerships into revenue streams.
Businesses need to follow a structured innovation process which includes in-depth research to provide knowledge and insight, creating and selecting ideas, product development, and commercialisation.
Three useful terms if you are striving for a Culture of Innovation are Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose.
Trust in your people and they will trust in you. A structured framework will empower people to be creative and will encourage a steady flow of new ideas that will constantly work towards improving your products and services.
If there is no structured framework for managing ideas, they will be lost in a sea of random thoughts and motivation will be lost.
Ideas will need to be tested, risks taken and mistakes made; among the failures will be some amazing successes. The key is to test the ideas quickly and economically and the long-term value of your ideas will quickly be realised.
Employees need a company vision to give a common purpose and a goal to strive for. Employees also need to know, understand and buy into this vision. A small investment in internal communications can be the difference between employees being disgruntled and disoriented or energised and motivated.
In a Company with a robust culture of innovation it is difficult to separate Purpose, from Autonomy and Mastery. Each must be running effectively, seamlessly for the whole system to operate successfully.
We live and breathe innovation, it's in our name. Whether that's working on a new product development, or securing the best tax relief claim for our clients. 95% of our clients stay with us, so we're pretty sure that we're giving good service and working hard to ensure we're delivering the best service possible.
If your interested in finding out how our team could support your business to profit from product development, please get in touch.
Want to read more on innovation? Read our blog post: The top 3 innovation myths.