When was the last time you hired someone because they were a little weird?
I’ve written before about the benefits of hiring employees that don’t fit the stuffy corporate profile.
Hiring fresh, creative, off-the-wall people to work at your organization can stimulate innovation and ultimately help your company grow by leaps and bounds.
Why Encourage Innovation?
Many business owners and leaders understand the importance of qualities like teamwork, loyalty, and a strong culture, but not enough companies value innovation. Even fewer know how to start encouraging creativity and innovative thinking among their employees.
According to a study by Robert Half, 35% of chief financial officers said that their primary roadblock to organizational breakthroughs was a lack of innovative ideas. Innovation is what keeps your business relevant, puts you ahead of the competition, and helps a business survive in these ever-changing times. Many companies don’t think to foster a culture of creativity until it’s too late.
Creative thinking can very quickly take your business to the next level. The key is to stimulate innovation at all levels of your organization, starting with the leadership.
Ways to Stimulate Innovation in Your Business
If your employees aren’t used to using creative thinking on the job, it might take some time to ease the company culture in that direction. Start by having an honest talk with your team about what new behaviors you’d like to see from them. Let them know you’d want to stimulate innovation on a company-wide level.
Many of your associates have good ideas but never speak out about them for fear of being ridiculed or sounding silly. If you emphasize the fact that you value brainstorming and that no idea is too out there to mention, they’ll feel more comfortable coming up with new ideas and trying them out.
For this to work, it’s important to give your teammates agency over their projects and responsibilities. If your staff is invested in the outcome of a particular project or goal, they’re more likely to come up with as many ideas as possible to see it succeed.
You might also need to take a look at the structure of your business to see if there are any obstacles blocking innovative thinking. For example, if an idea needs to pass through several strict committees or teams before it’s implemented, employees might feel like it’s a waste of time to make suggestions. Make it easier for your workers to put their ideas into action—it’s almost always better to try a new approach and see it fail than remain stagnant and stuck in your processes.
When in doubt, be the example you want to see. Your associates are much more likely to make an attempt and risk failure if they see you’re not afraid to do the same.
Finally, it’s a worthwhile investment to hold workshops on the subject of creativity and innovation or to send your employees to seminars so they can learn more. Many employees want to be more creative in their jobs but are just not used to being asked for this type of input. It might take some learning and unlearn for your team to find a right balance.
Are you ready to take the first steps to create a culture that stimulates innovation? Please fill out my contact form and let’s have a video call to discuss how to get started.