Innovative companies work hard to bring clarity to real problems and design practical solutions for implementation. Many of these companies are exerting a lot of energy and resources towards creating an innovative company versus simply launching innovative projects. Here are some commonly adopted keys to creating an innovative company:
1. Innovation Starts with Vision – The topic of innovation must have a seat at the executive table. It should be a regular point of conversation and integrated fully into the overall narrative of a company. Whether it is a C-Level executive vision casting or a manager speaking to a direct-report during a review, the story of innovation must be integrated into the vision of the company. Team members at every level should be able to point to actual stories within the company that highlight this vision for innovation.
3. Innovation Welcomes a New Kind of Thinking – Traditional thinking tells us to do what we know. How do we know what to do? Look to the past. This kind of thinking does not lead to more innovation. Innovative thinking adds another layer that allows people to diverge from what the past tells them. Divergent thinking takes what we know and then explores what could be. The past alone does not dictate what the future could be in this model.
5. Innovation Needs Space for We & Me – Innovative companies allow for both individual times for employees to innovative as well as collective times. These times are often integrated into the rhythm on one’s work week. Also, these companies encourage the cross-pollination of inter-departmental expertise to spark new ideas and opportunities. There appears to be a growth in the number of idea-competitions, innovation think-tanks, and innovation centers on the rise.