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Seeing employees as a source of innovation

Man with lightbulb head

Creativity fosters innovation, but how can you ignite creative sparks within your organisation? It’s simple – your own employees are an inexpensive and efficient source of creative new ideas and innovation.

The key is to unleash the creative spirit within your workforce, and there are a number of ways to build a vibrant research and development strategy in your organisation without spending a fortune.

Here are a few simple strategies:

  • Every employee is a potential designer of a new idea and just needs the opportunity to be heard. Do not restrict creativity and innovation to your R&D or marketing area. We are all creative.
  • Ask lots of questions: What if? Why? Why not? Imagine if? Allow your people to imagine new possibilities.
  • To bring together great ideas use cloud-based software that allows sharing and development to occur anytime, anywhere.
  • Provide opportunities for reflection, retreat and problem solving so that good ideas will emerge.
  • Encourage risk-taking. Failure is part of all innovation. People need to feel safe to try and fail and then try again.
  • Host a scholarship program to incentivise innovation within the organisation and also to attract new talent from outside
  • Reward brilliant ideas – for example, with tickets to innovation conferences, holidays, shares and equity where appropriate
  • Innovation occurs from diversity. Bring together the most diverse teams possible to solve your biggest challenges.
  • Allow people time to invent new ideas. Take the lead from Google’s 20 percent time or Intuit’s 10 percent time.

Be known as an organisation that fosters creativity and innovation through diversity, openness and respect of courageous new ideas. Be an organisation that recognises creativity as the strategic tool of the 21st century. Companies that fail to innovate now will not be around in 5 to 10 years. It’s worth the risk – get creative!

Attend Creative Innovation 2012 Asia Pacific Wicked Problems, Great Opportunities! Leadership and Courage for Volatile Times and learn with other world class thinkers, leaders and innovators.