How to drive innovation in your workplace?
“Innovation makes the world go round. It brings prosperity and freedom”- Robert Metcalfe, co-invented Ethernet, founded 3Com
Everyone is creative. Innovation and creativity aren’t the forbidden islands for us. Most of the time we strike with new ideas while taking shower or in the early morning when we are half-awake but they blur away within no time and prove ephemeral. The world could have been more developed than it is this moment had those all uncharted creative ideas born fruits. The technology seems to be reaching the peak point with corporate world devising innovative ways to further the organizational growth by employing better management practices. We all want to make distinct imprints, but how?
Why do we need to be innovative and creative?
The same old ways of living life seem monotonous and onerous. Change is inevitable otherwise the fear is that the human race would go stagnant to become extinct one day as the resultant effect. Creativity fosters innovations so one should be creative enough to form a solid foundation that would bolster the innovations at its best. Haven’t you seen the children being happy experimenting with whatever they get to play with? Breaking the rules and reinvigorating something new is the natural tendency of the children and that’s what we badly need now to surpass the boundaries of the humdrum routine and go live.
Merely creating an innovation department doesn’t make sense – make it a force for future!
Famously, there is a trend as well as a known fact that nowadays in the corporate world they have established innovation departments. The motive is clear but what happens next is the matter of grave concern. Excluding the exceptional cases like Intel which has a full-fledged Open lab, a sort of innovation department that incentivizes and promotes research and innovation, the majority of entities only did formalities - better say their innovation departments are in oblivion. It is required to move beyond just having those cubic structures that occupy your workspace. Go ahead and gather the ideas, make your stakeholders be creative and have innovations in the true sense. It costs nothing to bear an idea and spell it on paper – it may have the potential to revolutionize the world from within. The innovative management could surely spark a breakthrough and achieve what was inconceivable to date.
Overcome the Barriers to Creativity and Innovations
“Real life is, to most men, a long second-best, a perpetual compromise between the ideal and the possible; but the world of pure reason knows no compromise, no practical limitations, no barrier to the creative activity.”- Bertrand Russell
The barriers are obvious when you barge in for the unfamiliar things. No success has ever been achieved without taking risks and challenging the odds. Every organization aspires to be unique and best in the market, but the accomplishment goes the extent the barriers are faced with and the innovations are brought about. Then what are those common barriers and how to overcome them? Let’s have an insight –
• Not making time to innovate: Time is precious. The scarcity of time hastens the things. Overwhelmed by a range of activities, companies find it difficult to find time for innovative thinking and collaborative work. If there is a will there is a way – dedicated prioritized time on a daily basis or enough flexibility for creativity would surely make things possible. Once the urgency is felt and values and benefits of the innovations are realized the time will automatically be available for the purpose. Here personal commitments may help.
• Fear of change: Everyone wants to walk the path already walked. Fear of change reduces the possibilities of creativity, so the spires of thoughts don’t rise above the ground. You need to break the consistency and dare to risk. Disruptive and creativity-led robust work culture boosts innovations.
• Risk avoidance: There come a variety of excuses to avoid the risk. Simply put, people would run away when it comes to going the unusual way. This inhibits the growth. Calculated risks fetch better result and all you need to do is go for it by having at your disposal a sound risk assessment system.
• Inadequate funding: Money is the great facilitator. Availability of fund at right time making things happen the desired way. Innovations incur the cost which sees no limits, but a tiny idea may touch the sky and you can reap the benefits in several multitudes of your actual investment. To get sufficient funding you can do certain things – simplify the plan, use substitutes, assess the potential and use informal networks for things to move.
• Lengthy projects: Missing targets isn’t new. Things sometimes don’t go as expected and delay happens. The solutions lie in the agile methodology of doing business. Break the project into stages and assign it to the cross-functional, self-organizing teams. This is the proven way of accomplishing the projects on time.
Being quirky is becoming a norm: How they ventured to be unique and awesome
Working within the walls of tedious and isolated cubicles is no more exciting. Silos are becoming a past speedily. This is the time to explore new things and embrace the seamless opportunities with creativity and innovations – that’d be most productive and interesting too. The exemplary Open Lab by Intel and the likewise attempts by a host of businesses the world over to dive into creativity and innovations have been inspiring to a large extent.
When the creativity is fostered, innovations take place. The world scored progress only because of the innovative ideas. Cloud Computing is one of the greatest innovation of all time that has revolutionized the computing ways for the time to come. iPhone changed the overall perception of a cell phone and brought in totally different perspective. The birth of Facebook, electronic mail and the latest, Office 365 by Microsoft are some of the wonderful innovations that took shape to become a necessary tool for the time being and future too.
Being quirky is not always bizarre, rather it has potential to surpass the limits to make the world awesome.