Kristin Arnold and I have been facilitating several conversations around innovation lately. For your business to innovate, there are certain critical conditions that must exist. Some of these include:
1. Engaged front-line employees who have the freedom to experiment with random ideas.
2. Employees who can take a break and have fun during the day. Some of the best ideas happen when people are relaxed.
3. Diverse people and teams that work together. This allows people to look at challenges from different perspectives.
4. Opportunities abound for lower level employees and senior managers to interact in a non-threatening environment.
5. Allow (no, encourage) failure. Thomas Edison, after 10,000 attempts at inventing a workable light bulb, said, “I haven’t failed; I’ve found 9,999 ways that don’t work.”
A friend of mine, Dorian Baxter, is an (award winning) Elvis impersonator and an ordained Anglican priest. Remembering Elvis never lost his passion for Gospel music, and knowing that people love inspirational songs while worshiping, he put these two concepts together and created a lively church that is growing and thriving.
My question for managers this week: “Are you providing an environment where creative thinking, experimentation and innovation is encouraged and rewarded?”
Joseph Sherren, CSP, HoF, CSPGlobal, Canada’s Management Effectiveness Expert.