Every business claims to want innovation but White House Marketing, Inc., frequently finds that sometimes it is unintentionally discouraged. To keep a flow of new and creative ideas, your office needs to provide the right environment and managers need to be prepared to embrace change.
Innovation requires change and risk-taking. Both these aspects can be terrifying for those in leadership who likely succeeded under a different set of rules. Rather than perceive change as a threat, accept that all things change—trends, market forces, consumer preferences, and even the nature of the available workforce. Fighting these changes will not help your business evolve. Accepting them as reality and finding the best way to make innovation work for your office will support growth.
Additionally, you should develop a structure within your workplace that allows team members to share new ideas. Put aside time for special meetings where everyone discusses what does and does not work and their perceptions on how to improve. Pay attention to emails from workers that suggest other outcomes. Remember to respond to them and do not just put them aside as a low priority. Team members who do not feel like you listen to them are unlikely to share their ideas and may take them to another firm.
What’s more, leadership is also necessary for innovation to thrive. Maintain a combination of creative people, processes, and focus. Listen to feedback and do not become defensive. Criticizing a process that seems inefficient is not the same as feedback on your leadership skills or personality.
Finally, an innovative workplace is one of open communication. It allows dialog between leaders and their teams. It respects the experience of others. The best way to promote new ideas is to build an environment where they are welcome.