Innovation drives the business world, and today the pace of innovation is faster than ever. For companies seeking to gain a competitive advantage, staying at the forefront of the most productive forms of change is a must.
Here are some of the changes most often made by top companies and how to implement them in your own workplace.
Change for change’s sake does more harm than good. It confuses your staff and consumes resources with no clear goal or defined set of expected results.
Instead, start the innovation process by choosing a goal. Then, ask staff to contribute ideas for achieving that goal – no matter how unusual or strange those ideas seem. Evaluate ideas based on their ability to reach the goal you’ve set.
Staff who stay sectioned off in their own departments tend to lose the ability to innovate over time. They become comfortable with the routine, and they lose their perspective on the rest of the organization.
To keep innovative skills high, have staff cross-train between different departments. Encourage communication among all your departments with brown-bag sessions and other get-togethers, in which staff can share their perspectives with one another. The more your workers know about each department’s perspective, the easier it is for them to create new solutions that incorporate everyone’s best interests.
Reduce the Fear of Failure
Innovation often struggles when the cost of trying something new and failing is too high. To reduce the fear of failure, create a communication structure in which senior-level staff participates in the generation of ideas, providing perspective and signing off on each new step.
This system creates a sense of joint responsibility for failures, so staff know they won’t bear all of the blame if an innovative idea doesn’t pan out.
For leaders who are hesitant to innovate, consider reaching out to professionals who can offer an outside perspective. For instance, to innovate in the hiring process, talk to a staffing firm that can provide ideas for new approaches to your company’s specific hiring problems.
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