It is a smart investment to ensure that your organization has an environment that is conducive to innovation. Change is inevitable in our world. Consumer preferences change. Industries change. Technology continues to disrupt everything. So, obviously any organization that is stuck with the traditional systems will be left out in no time.
That is why, in order to ensure that your organization continues to enjoy that level of competitive advantage that it has a culture and climate that allows for and rewards innovative thinking. Many managers know that they feel stuck in a rug. They know that something about their organization isn’t up to speed with the external demands. They see some in their industries continuing to dominate, but have no idea on how they can boost their organizational capacities for innovation.
Creative ideas are what turn ordinary companies into market leaders. Creativity and innovation are key elements that propel businesses to the top. Without either, your company comes in second at best, and no one remembers No. 2. While being No. 1 certainly doesn’t guarantee continued success, it is definitely better than being forgotten.
Here are some ways to keep your company at the top:
1. Foster a business climate that’s open to innovation and creativity
Innovation is the ability to come up with ideas and solutions to pressing problems. It is the process of producing something that has value and did not exist before. Creativity is the ability to take that new idea and make it valuable in your customers’ eyes. Realize that every problem has a solution, although the solution may not be in plain sight.
It is very important that organizational processes allow for and/or encourage innovative thinking. That is, the decision –making should be decentralized. When the staff have some level of autonomy, they are more likely to be creative and innovative which brings added organizational values to the organization. Let the business identity communicate that innovation is one of the founding principles.
2. Become No. 1 with your clients
Many know of the significance of fabulous customer care, in fact many have such written even on their websites, but in practice, they fall short. It is important to not only emphasize customer care in paper, but to really train your staff to ensure that such is translated into practice.
The more satisfied your clients are, the more business you’ll have in the future. Realize that the only commodity your clients know is you. Since you are the catalyst providing the solution to their problem, you are accountable for fulfilling their needs. As a result, you need to invest time in keeping the channels of communication open.
3. Create a partnership with employees
Asking people to be creative and then shooting down their ideas creates a rift in your organization. Instead, show people that bringing their imagination on the journey is welcome. Information wealth flows directly from innovation, not optimization.
Communicate more often with your employees, especially about non-work related life issues. Demonstrated that you really care about them and their welfare. This will instill trust and loyalty and will encourage them to be more innovative
4. Create a partnership with clients
Make sure that your clients are not treated as distant individuals in your planning. Communicate with them and demonstrate that you really want to serve them better by taking into account their concerns. There are some ways of introducing this partnerships including having suggestions boxes that are really functional.
Show clients that you’re not just in it for the money but that you really care about their whole being. Clients recognize partnerships when the companies they work with function as problem solvers. Remember, value is something you produce by the acceptance clients place on what you do for them.
5. Implement next-generation approaches
Replacing “rules” with “roles” will free your employees from the “we have always done it this way” syndrome. The secret is not knowing the formula; it is applying information in a way that works for your employees and benefits your clients.