Workplace innovation is not a one size fits all model. How it is defined and played out in reality will be unique to each organisation.
Innovation in organisations goes beyond the traditional definition of the research & development budget or the launch of a new product. It is something more tangible but potentially lower key.
Irrespective of the business, there are key building blocks to creating a culture of innovation flourishes in the mindset of employees and also be lived out in reality in how they do their work.
Part of Strategic Intent
In order for innovation to become the DNA of an organisational culture, it needs to be integrated into the strategic plan for the business. It must be a valued behaviour and also a KPI which is measured on an individual, departmental, organisational and leadership level. As the saying goes if you cannot measure it you cannot manage it.
It is critical that the leaders of the organisation walk the talk when it comes to being innovative in the workplace. Leadership buy-in from the top is essential to empowering a culture of Innovation and ensuring it is actually lived and breathed throughout the workforce.
Organisational Structure & Design
Culture is the nucleus of any organisation which is supported by the structure and systems around it. This is no different for having an innovative culture. The organisational structures and systems must support and enable not challenge the growth of innovation. Key enablers to innovation are having communication mechanisms that foster cross collaboration and sharing of knowledge. The other important factor is having a structure that allows autonomy and freedom of not just idea generation but decision making. Finally, it is important that HR processes allow innovation to flourish, through recruiting people with the right mindset as well as continuous learning and development of the current talent pool.
So ask yourself, thinking of your own work culture, how do you measure on the three factors discussed above? Do you have the building blocks to begin fostering a culture of Innovation?