Unlocking Innovation in Business
Most businesses realise that innovation is the key to commercial success and they must innovate or be left behind. Innovative businesses don’t follow the crowd; they lead it. They don’t compete in the market; they create new markets.
According to a major survey from Deloitte, innovation is among the top five strategic challenges for 96% of businesses, with more than a fifth of business leaders citing it as the number one priority on boardroom agendas.
So, why isn’t your business innovative? Do your people lack the skills to innovate? Is it the working culture that stifles innovation? Or is it a lack of leadership and vision? Easier said than done. Here’s how to use a unique and exciting way of assessing the ability to envision, support and manage innovation.
- Don’t permit innovation – expect it
- Experiment, don’t overburden
- Celebrate creativity
- Campaign for innovation
- Commit and continue
According to Wazoku’s EveryDay Innovation Report, 76% of employees say they feel a part of their business when their ideas are recognised.
Before businesses can innovate, they must first develop their ability to discover and act on new ideas with speed and confidence. “Innovation is the implementation of a new or significantly improved product or process that creates a value,” says Linda Naiman, an organizational creativity consultant who has worked with a roster of enterprise and Fortune 500 companies that includes American Express and Cisco. “But you cannot innovate without creativity.”
‘New ways of thinking aren’t simply “allowed” but are an absolute imperative’
The challenge: most businesses are sitting on vast stores of untapped creativity. Just three in 10 adults say they are “living up to their creative potential,” according to one global report.
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“Leadership needs to support creativity, otherwise it’s hard to make it happen,” Naiman says. “The discovery skills that support creativity — observing, associating, networking, and experimenting — are all behaviors. If companies can enable these behaviors, they will develop their creativity.”
Enabling creative behaviors is a common struggle though. “There’s a lack of process, there’s a lack of knowledge about the mindset and skills involved in creativity. Creativity isn’t necessarily valued in the day to day, or there’s too much red tape,” Naiman says, outlining some of the obstacles she frequently sees.