Innovation tops the list of business buzzwords right now, especially in the data and analytics space. Everyone wants to be INNOVATIVE. GreenBook’s recently published annual list of most innovative companies spurred discussions about what makes a company innovative and how innovation seems to thrive among some companies and die amongst others. These discussions were also heard earlier this year at the Front End of Innovation Conference where major corporations, government agencies and start-ups came together to figure out how to fuel innovation in their respective sectors. Across the discussions, a few consistent themes emerged:
Limited Bandwidth Suffocates Innovation
To support innovative thinking, employees need time to think. When employees are forced to hyper-schedule their days in support of their overwhelming workload, there is no time to step outside daily tasks to think creatively about anything. This is an innovation killer, as the employees most knowledgeable about current business operations are often the ones who can design powerful innovations, whether in processes or products.
Support Needs to Come from the Top
Companies of all sizes lose their most innovative employees because leaders fail to create and foster an environment that supports innovation. Innovation can’t be a buzz word in the organization. It needs to be part of the company’s culture, a value that is supported by policies that fuel creative thinking and behaviors.
Everyone Must be Comfortable with the F Word
The thing about innovation is, it’s a constant process. The reality is, not everything you create during that process will be a great idea or drive huge growth or save the company lots of time or money. You need to be ok with that. You need to recognize you’re going to fail at some point and be ready to start again when you do.
According to Google, it’s simply “a new method, product, idea, etc”. When you start thinking of innovation on both a micro and macro level it makes becoming an “innovative company” a lot more attainable. Why not start by assessing your bandwidth this week and creating some space to innovate?
Looking for a little inspiration and support to ramp up your innovation efforts? Wishing you had made the GreenBook list or ranked a bit higher? Check out our upcoming Masterminds series for ways to get involved with one of our groups to help accelerate your efforts!