In today’s rapidly changing global economy, leading innovation is a critical business skill. To help businesses gain and maintain competitive advantage, leaders are challenged with the difficult task of building a climate where people feel empowered to be innovative and safe enough to risk failure when experimenting with new ideas.
Sometimes people incorrectly assume that innovation only applies to the fields of technology, science, or research. While it’s true that people have made remarkable and stunning advances in these fields in the last 40 years, innovation is something that is required in every leadership role and in every industry.
Changing with the Times
Your field of work will evolve, and you have two choices: you can either be a proactive force for change, or you can choose to react to the innovations of others—but if you do the latter, you’ll miss the opportunity to grow and apply your experience in new and exciting ways. It doesn’t matter if you work in sales, operations, engineering, human resources, maintenance, or administration; there are opportunities to innovate everywhere.
Everyone—leaders and individual contributors alike—can learn the skills and enhance their ability to generate value-added solutions and streamline processes, improve service, and become a more-effective organization through innovation. Becoming innovative means moving beyond traditional approaches to solving problems and blending ideas together in new and useful ways.
There are many myths about innovation. A lot of people believe it’s a rare skill and that generating new ideas requires hiring people from outside the organization. In fact, the ability to think in innovative and creative ways can be developed by anyone. CMOE has years of experience helping teams and leaders at all levels intentionally become more innovative and generate breakthrough ideas.
Encouraging Innovation in the Workplace
Every person is capable of producing valuable ideas, and everyone has enormous creative potential. Unfortunately, when people are faced with daily policy and procedure, they often stop paying attention to their natural creative flow. Some people may believe that they aren’t naturally creative, or that only artists or other creative types can be innovative. The reality is that many artists have creative capacity because they don’t feel inhibited. They are motivated by the work and are able to produce volumes of work while experimenting with unexpected combinations.
Team members who assume that they lack creativity may simply need a little instruction and time to practice these skills. This will help them gain confidence in their ability to innovate.
CMOE can help your team create an environment where people feel comfortable expressing new ideas and taking new approaches to their work without fear of failure.
Fostering the ability to innovate and an environment where innovation can flourish leads to fresh discoveries, new information, and unexpected successes. Innovation will provide you with opportunities to meet or exceed your customers’ expectations before they’re even aware of their own needs.
Successful leaders of innovation will find themselves with an influx of new business ideas and opportunities. Despite the possible positive outcomes of these innovative ideas, leaders may find this process overwhelming and time-consuming if they lack the necessary support.
CMOE can supply the coaching, training, and tools leaders need to jumpstart the innovation process, evaluate new ideas, and successfully implement longer-term plans. Contact CMOE to learn more about how to build a more creative leadership team and a culture that fosters innovation.