What makes a company a workplace that has a culture of innovation? Here are some of the features that you’ll find —
- The executive level respects the creators and producers. There is a true understanding of the value that their creative employees bring to the organization. Along with recognition that all new market successes start somewhere and if they want to be market leaders they need to nurture a creative population within their own organization.
- The employees are allowed time in their workday to “play”. Often the people who are most intimately involved in your current products will also be the people who can envision your next great product, or have a great idea for how to reengineer current production to streamline and cut costs. Make sure that there is an opportunity for all of your employees, not just the folks who work in the innovation department, to have some company-sponsored time in their day / week to just brainstorm and come up with suggestions, or to work on a prototype, or something else creative!
- There are clear processes for how new ideas can go through the channels to become new products or services that the company provides. If employees come up with a great idea and they have no idea how to take it the next step farther, their great idea may just disappear.
- The decision-making authority is broadly distributed. An innovative workplace needs to be nimble, and allowing broad decision-making authority avoids strangling new ideas through lack of getting a decision made that is needed to move forward. The organization’s executive management structure will ultimately have to approve a new product for full market development, but they don’t necessarily have to approve all of the interim points that got it to being a viable concept.
- There is an atmosphere of collaboration. Not to say there isn’t also competition between the creative teams to see who can come up with the best ideas, but the individuals are open to working with other people and bouncing ideas around, looking for other input to improve their idea.