How to cultivate innovation in your company

Innovation is the lifeblood of any great business. Many of today’s most successful businesses –  such as Apple, Netflix, Amazon and Uber – completely changed the way the world looked at things and innovated their way into becoming complete game changers in the today’s  marketplace. Here are five tips for how to cultivate innovation within your organisation:

1. Embed innovation into your culture

Good businesses figure out their niche and continuously plug away at delivering within it. Great companies do that as well; however, they take it a step further by innovating their way even further into that niche.

A recent global survey determined that digitally maturing companies innovate at far higher rates than their less mature counterparts. Of respondents from digitally mature companies, 81% said innovation was an organisational strength. Only 10% at early-stage companies felt the same.

2. Take advantage of emerging technologies

New technologies are constantly being developed. This creates new opportunities to drive improvement in your own company that may not have been available before. It pays to keep up with new technologies and figure out ways they can benefit your business and customers.

3. Build strategic partnerships

It stands to reason that understanding the relative strengths and weaknesses of your company in comparison to those of your competitor could help you innovate strategies and approaches that not only help you stay even but actually give you an advantage.

However, 80% of respondents from digitally mature companies in the previously mentioned MIT Sloan Management survey said that their organisations seek to cultivate partnerships with other companies to facilitate digital innovation efforts. Understandably, maybe you don’t want to collaborate with direct competitors. However, strategic partnerships with companies in related fields could lead to increased innovation and benefits to both parties.

4. Create a safe space for ideas to be shared

No one person has all the answers. So foster an inclusive atmosphere when it comes to sharing ideas.

One of the first conversations I have when working with businesses is that they should not be afraid of new technology and new ways of doing things. Inevitably, this leads to some failures and some wins. But you can’t win if you’re afraid to try new things.

5. Encourage diversity.

It stands to reason that if you recruit a team full of people from similar backgrounds, you are possibly putting a damper on innovation. An employee’s gender, culture, race, sexual orientation, education and upbringing all impact their perspective. Staff diversity widens experience and viewpoints, whilst fostering innovation. Don’t suppress differences and let everyone bring their unique talents to the table and work together. Taking that approach is a true game changer.

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