Each employee in your organization can be a significant innovator. In contrast to the widespread understanding of innovation and creativity, innovation can spring only when your organization has a predictable, dependable, and repeatable process and culture to promote innovation. By creating an environment that promotes innovation and sets specific goals in place, you can coach your employees to be innovators.
- Shake off personal egos. Quite often, leaders overestimate their influence in the organization’s innovation process. They believe that they might hold the key to all innovations. The resulting perception among employees that their innovation ideas are subject to judgment is risky. A culture that encourages innovation should encourage risk-taking, experimentation, and a receptive management that welcomes ideas.
- Convene many open forums. These brainstorming meetings are a great way to encourage ideas from everyone. Encourage your employees to collect ideas and thoughts in advance, and share them with the entire group. This makes it possible for other employees to do background research and come prepared with data, arguments, and counter-arguments. Thus, the brainstorming meetings are not fixated on only one idea. No employee dominates the conversations.
- Set parameters and boundaries. Identify your vision of the organization to guide the innovation in your employees. Employees will feel empowered and be part of the cause.
- Define, communicate, and administer a precise execution process for ideas selected for further pursuit. It is best to execute small, incremental changes that lead to long-term transformation of your organization. Consider three components of execution: create a team dedicated to the execution of innovative ideas, offer access to key resources of the organization, continuously evaluate the execution projects.