A business has five main functions – Innovation, marketing, profit, integrity and respect. Innovation thrives on encouragement and dies with criticism, routine regulations and bureaucracy. Innovation is the fuel of corporate survival.
With cooperative management, enthusiastic workers and an environment conducive to free -thinking and innovation, companies can survive and thrive.
Successful managers must create a working climate and culture conducive to motivate and innovation.
Five of the best tips to stimulate innovation
* Build a favourable work environment
Innovation flourishes in organisations where it is encouraged, appreciated and rewarded.
Recruit innovative people and give them freedom to try out new ways to work. They must be give the freedom to make a few mistakes without reprimands but allowing time to seek guidance and counselling.
Select enthusiastic team leaders who believe work can be competitive and fun and who are prepared to take a few risks.
* Remove barriers
Restrictions and rules prevent ideas from circulating and kill useful creative ideas. Remove these barriers and delegate responsibilities down to the action levels of the business.
* Seek new ideas
Don’t ask the obvious questions. Look deeper and don’t be afraid to rethink the basic fundamentals of your business, your services and your products.
Ideas can be found both inside and outside organisations. Ask your staff, your clients and your potential clients for good ideas. Listen carefully to their ideas.
Research what others are doing and if appropriate modify their successes to your advantage.
* Generate ideas
Set up workshops to help generate ideas. Select an experienced facilitator, compatible with your people. Find a suitable quiet location and run planning and innovative workshops where you seek ideas and advice from the participants. (Workshops are great places to build happy teams.)
Aim to build up their confidence and seek support for future changes in the organisation.
Use techniques such as ‘brainstorming’ and ways of generating ideas to get everyone involved. Make your training and planning competitive and fun.
* Appreciate good ideas
Encourage creativity with rewards and public recognition. Rewards can take many forms other than money.
Everyone likes to feel their ideas are appreciated. A few words of praise such as, “Well done. You did a good job!” can mean a lot to a worker.
Good communications are essential to bring concepts, people and new products together.
“Reacting quickly to change is important to the success of a business.”
Source: “Secrets for New Managers” first published by Moss Associates Ltd., New Zealand and Cengage Learning Asia, Singapore. Also available as an e-book from Amazon.com and VitalSource.
“Time- Savers, Guidelines, checklists and golden rules”, Moss Associates Ltd, New Zealand, “Time Management Secrets”, Cengage Learning Asia and “Time-Savers”, McGraw-Hill Companies. Also available as an e-book from Amazon.com.