OK, we get that enterprises must start to develop innovative and creative environments for future growth and differentiation. As with everything in life there’s a right way and there’s a wrong way to do this.
Innovation, it’s not a magical pill that executives can get you to buy into merely by commanding his/ her subordinates to start ‘thinking’ that way.
Getting the finest out of individuals requires companies to build the correct ambiance, an environment of openness and creativity mixed with orderly chaos. So many businesses are far too process-driven, destroying every possibility for that creative and innovative environment they so dream of. Innovation is not something you can define via process. Fat command and control business models are built on precisely that, ‘process’. Granted over the years this style for big business has been extremely successfully delivering amazing returns, but at the cost of applying age-old industrial style management techniques. And it’s this ‘process’ that’s exactly what makes big business rubbish at originality. Innovation does not, and cannot, fit the model of ‘process’; process defined as scalable and constant repetition of the same old guff.
What can these processes heavy companies do to start building an innovative environment? Well to start with let the innovative be innovative, give your teams time away from the everyday monotonous routines, core revenue generation. If a company’s game is all about hitting the short-term financial targets set by management no employee’s going to be motivated to think different, fact! Big corporates have this exceptional ability of taking on graduates and infusing the process-driven model from day one, suppressing all thought of creativity. If you want a creative environment, hire creative people and encourage them to be just that, creative. Recognise all ideas. Truth be told, managers and executives all too frequently ignore ideas. Innovation won’t last too long if your employees know that no one really cares about your thinking. Reward employees who make your company some cash and make sure you compensation them fittingly.
Innovation is about open-minded thinking and doing. Anyone regardless of title can come up with game changing ideas, but only if they have the right environment and motivations to do so.
Innovation just happens it cannot be forced.