Here are some ways to help your organization help foster an environment of innovation in your office. Commit to a few of these today and you might be surprised at the results.
- Remember that innovation requires no fixed rules or templates — only guiding principles. Creating a more innovative culture is an organic and creative act.
- Wherever you can, whenever you can, always drive fear out of the workplace.
- Have more fun. If you’re not having fun (or at least enjoying the process) something is off.
- Always question authority, especially the authority of your own longstanding beliefs.
- Make new mistakes.
- As far as the future is concerned, don’t speculate on what might happen, but imagine what you can make happen.
- Increase the visual stimuli of your organization’s physical space. Replace gray and white walls with color. Add inspiring photos and art, especially visuals that inspire people to think differently. Reconfigure space whenever possible.
- Help people broaden their perspective by creating diverse teams and rotating employees into new projects — especially ones they are fascinated by.
- Ask questions about everything. After asking questions, ask different questions. After asking different questions, ask them in a different way.
- Ensure a high level of personal freedom and trust. Provide more time for people to pursue new ideas and innovations.
- Notice innovation efforts. Nurture them wherever they crop up. Reward them.
- Encourage people to get out of their offices and silos. Encourage people to meet informally, one-on-one, and in small groups.
- Think long term. Since the average successful “spin-off” takes about 7.5 years, the commitment to innovation initiatives need to be well beyond “next quarter.”
- Don’t focus on growth. Growth is a product of successful innovation. Focus on the process of becoming adept at taking ideas from the generation stage to the marketplace.
- Make customers your innovation partners, while realizing that customers are often limited to incremental innovations, not breakthrough ones.
- Before reaching closure on any course of action, seek alternatives. Make it a discipline to seek the idea after the “best” idea emerges.
- Know that attacking costs as a root problem solves nothing. Unreasonable costs are almost always a sign of more profound problems (e.g. inefficient structures, processes or training).
- A great source of new ideas are people that are new to the company. Get new hires together and tap their brainpower and imagination.
- Get customer feedback before committing resources to a product’s development.
- Seek diversity of viewpoints. Get people together across functions. A diversity of views sparks more than conflict — it sparks innovation.
- Don’t make innovation the responsibility of a few. Make innovation the responsibility of each and every employee with performance goals for each and every functional area.
- Give your people specific, compelling, and measurable innovation goals.
About The Sundance Company
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs in Boise, Meridian, Nampa, and the greater Treasure Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.5 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime Boise and Meridian locations. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.