Sep 182013

an eye looking through a hole in paperInnovation is the key to positioning your business for the future. Therefore, it is important to focus your energies on creating an innovation culture. Most companies don’t spend nearly enough time or resources on creating a culture of innovation. However, if you want to move your company forwards and position it for success in the future, you will need a bit of innovation motivation. Here are 5 tips to help you nurture innovation in your company:

1. Innovative Workspace – In order to be creative and generate innovative ideas, people need to be able to work at their best. Many people find traditional office culture stifling. Ask people how their workspace can be improved to create a more engaging and creative environment. For example, perhaps cubicles are too structured and create barriers between people who like to bounce ideas off of each other. The solution may be to create several group meeting places throughout the office for times when people need a collaborative work environment. Start out by talking with your employees to assess their needs and try to meet them as best you can.

2. Creative Thinking – Sure, some people are more creative than others, but creative thinking is a skill that can be taught. Hold regular training sessions or workshops on creative thinking. Encourage your employees to read books on different creative thinking strategies so that it becomes second nature. Creativity is the lifeblood of innovation. If you can teach your employees to think creatively, then there is no limit as to what your company can think of and accomplish. A good place to start the process would be to look at the five stages of creative thinking: insight, saturation, incubation, illumination and verification.

3. Encourage Passion – When you identify an employee with a certain passion, be sure to encourage her to pursue it. Passion can be a driving force in creating an innovation culture within your company. This is an important consideration at all levels of your company from the new hires to your top team members. Cultivate passions carefully within your company and make sure that everyone’s voice is heard.

4. Meaningful Work – People yearn to do something meaningful with their lives. Work is a necessity of life, but in order for people to be satisfied and perform well at their jobs, they need to feel as though their work is meaningful. Give your employees ownership of their jobs and help encourage them to achieve at a higher level by making their work meaningful. A meaningful job creates innovation motivation, which should be a central part of your business model for the future.

5. Time – Deadlines are important, but try not to micromanage your employees. Creativity and innovation requires time. Try to inspire a workplace that provides employees with little interruption. Interruptions stifle creativity, as do deadlines and the need for quick solutions. If you are seeking innovation, you need to drop the time is money mindset and understand that time is creativity in motion. Allow for a solid block of creative time within the day for your employees.

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