Should innovation be part of your culture?

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You have a choice innovation or live with the status quo.

 

Innovation helps you to cope with the future

While innovation might help you cope with the future and it might sound simple enough, but embracing a discovery mindset is almost the opposite to how we’ve been taught and trained.

Nearly all our formal education focuses on performance rewarding the right answers and defendable arguments over creative thinking and questioning. It’s interesting to note the success that comes with executing what we know and what we’ve historically done is exactly what prevents us from seeing what’s next. We become blind to new ideas and opportunities that lead to an innovative culture.

 

How do you make innovation part of your culture?

Innovation is concerned with making things better for the future, and this requires some insight and foresight. You need to be a bit of a futurist, understand technology and globalisation and be able to do some critical thinking. Of course, if you really care about your customers and people in general innovation seems to become much easier.

Become obsessed with creating an innovative business. Innovation is not just about technology it means investing time and resources in the right mindset, culture, incentives and the support of your stakeholders. It means looking beyond a single brilliant idea or opportunity and creating a culture and systems focused on value creation and building a profitable and sustainable business. 

 

“If you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it”. Michael Jordan

 

If you continue to maintain the status quo you will never grow

Successful innovators know that bringing new ideas and opportunities to life requires a mindset focused on the discovery of the unknown, not on the execution of the existing. Innovation starts with the right mindset

Emphasising learning from new situations and from our own mistakes will always help us to move quickly and find the right path forward.  This will require a change in your business culture.

 

Innovation requires investing time and resources in your culture

At the heart of an innovation, culture is the willingness to ask different questions. The innovative idea will often come from asking dumb questions. Questions that are out of the box, ambitious and capable of shifting the way we think about something while serving as a catalyst for change.

While having the right mindset is important, you don’t magically shift a whole business’s mindset overnight. So start getting everyone to start thinking like an innovator if it innovation is to become part of your culture.

 

Build a culture of innovation through learning

Your role should not be to prevent risk but to build the capability to recover new ideas and opportunities when failures occur. You should constantly challenge all of your assumptions and search for the flaws that could destroy your culture of innovation.

Innovation is not driven by a single great idea or the result of magical serendipity. Innovation is a process of disciplined exploration and experimentation.

Innovation should start by focusing on your customer. Learn how to observe and see things objectively from a customer’s perspective. This allows you to identify what they really want and need and to understand their problems and frustration. It’s about the customer experience, not what you believe your business current products and services do for them.

Keep it simple by finding the simple ideas hidden in the complexity. This is an ability to step back and see the big picture as well as break the big picture down to find the most critical thing that will lead to success now.

Innovation takes more than brainstorming sessions. Many of us have lots of ideas, but ideas alone do not necessarily result in successful innovation. To help you build your innovation culture look closely at the attributes of an entrepreneur. A real entrepreneur knows how to visualise, join up the dots and take massive action.

 

[read more=”Personal Experience” less=”Personal Experience”]

Personal Experience

Practice engagement in innovation if you expect your stakeholders to have an engagement in innovation. I know that disengaged owners, managers and leaders produce disengaged organisations.

Never make exceptions for yourself, Like, in a snow sledge, it’s the lead dog that sets the pace. Spend time defining the extra mile and take action. Expect more from yourself than you expect from others.

I usually ask myself each morning, how can I do things better today, what can I explore to create a new paradigm. I guess that’s why some people used to call me the ‘paradigm shifter’.

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