Corporate innovation is no longer optional; in order to keep up in today’s dynamic business environment, companies need to think outside the box and execute faster.
Is your management strategy up to the challenge?
Innovation can get bogged down when companies fail to embrace a culture of innovation or lack the wherewithal to train their leaders the skills necessary to innovate.
According to a Center for Creative Leadership study conducted in 2014, an overwhelming 94% of participants agreed that innovation is a key element in success, and 77% noted that their organizations have tried to improve innovation. However, only 14% of respondents were confident in their company’s ability to effectively employ innovation. Those aren’t great odds. What could that other 86% be doing differently in order to break the mold?
Take a beat to reflect on developing your leadership team. What can you do to train middle managers so that they may effectively lead your team to go forth confidently into the realm of innovation? You must understand their motivations and fears.
Managers are often used to being driven to produce results on short-term incentive plans, so their time, resources, and patience are not yet being invested in innovation, but rather on achieving short-term goals.
Without adjusting incentivisation methods, then many middle managers are unlikely to succeed or even care much about fostering innovation.
It is understandable that in a field where efficiency and risk-mitigation are top priorities, many leaders balk at the lack of control that comes with experimenting with something new.
That’s the thing: it is completely okay to be scared.
Business is scary. Change is scary. And sticking them together can be terrifying.
But as leaders, we need to acknowledge the courage that it takes to try something new and recognize failure as part of the process.
Guess what—it won’t always stick.
Not every idea is the best idea - most aren’t, but we stagnate when we stop trying. If you want your business to remain relevant and competitive, make this a priority. All members of the organization in a leadership or otherwise highly visible role need to learn the value of innovation and make the effort to adopt it into their culture. If upper-management and middle-management are unified on the matter, the rest will follow, so that is step number one. Now, go shake things up.
Ashkenas, R. (2012, May 1). Managers don’t really want to innovate. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2012/05/managers-dont-really-want-to-i.html
Donaldson, C. (2016, November 14). 5 steps leaders can take to boost innovation in teams. Retrieved from http://www.insidehr.com.au/5-steps-leaders-can-take-to-boost-innovation/
Horth, D., & Vehar, J. (2017, December 8). Stuck in the middle: Why innovation dies and what to do about it. Retrieved from https://www.td.org/insights/stuck-in-the-middle-why-innovation-dies-and-what-to-do-about-it
The WorkFlow podcast is hosted by Steve Glaveski with a mission to help you unlock your potential to do more great work in far less time, whether you're working as part of a team or flying solo, and to set you up for a richer life.
To help you avoid stepping into these all too common pitfalls, we’ve reflected on our five years as an organization working on corporate innovation programs across the globe, and have prepared 100 DOs and DON’Ts.