The world is dealing with an arsenal of challenges- digitization, automation, diversity, millennials, political instability, etc. which has foisted a lot of pressure on organizations’ profitability. The organizations are adapting to new technologies, processes and stressing a lot on innovation to combat the shifts in the market to stay competitive. However, to confront the uncertainties of the market, organizations need to focus on innovation that makes them stand out among their competitors.
One of the interesting sessions that was conducted in People Matters TechHR Preconference, 2017 was building the tools and mindsets required for creating a culture of innovation. Ektaa Aggarwal, an independent design and innovation consultant, led this session.
Here are the key takeaways from the session:
Innovation- what it means to an organization?
Innovation is the most overused word today. Everybody wants to be more creative, invent new solutions, etc. However, innovation is more than invention. It not only about creating something new but sustaining it. It is more about delivering value to the stakeholders.
Mindset Shift – A challenge in innovation
The various problems that organization face while creating and embracing a culture of innovation are:
Breaking the status quo:
There is a prerequisite to shift employees’ mindsets in order to build a culture of innovation. Fear of failure and lack of risk taking abilities resists employees as well as leaders to innovate.
Executing the innovation:
Adapting an idea and executing it not easy. You may have ten new ideas but the challenge, then, is to figure out how to translate creative ideas into innovative action and results.
Framing the problem:
We often get on the bandwagon without knowing the problem. We quickly jump on to decide the new tools and technologies to solve the problems that are poorly understood by us.
Fear of judgment:
In a corporate world, people are usually afraid of breaking the mold and trying something new because of the fear of judgment.
The young people- millennials are the drivers of technology. They are more innovative, creative and transformative in their approach. Innovation comes mainly from younger generation. However, the authority lies with the top leaders who are sometimes too resistant to adopt new ideas.
Mindsets and Tools required to innovate:
To embrace the culture of innovation, leaders and employees need to move away from their comfort zone. People need to be self-driven and excited to embrace new ideas and beliefs.
Here the significant attitude that can help organizations to build a culture of innovation:
The organization should instill a mindset in employees to innovate. Give them space to nurture new ideas and express appreciation.
Lack of curiosity kills innovation. To foster innovation at workplace, people need to be curious about everything- processes, products, policies, customers, etc.
We are living in a VUCA world- volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. To innovate, it becomes imperative for organizations to embrace vagueness and ambiguity. Innovation is a way to confront these risks and change.
Letting go of “Fear of Failure”:
Failure happens to everyone. However, it is equally important to fail because success requires you to learn from your mistakes. Organizations need to nurture an environment where their employees feel safe about trying new ideas.
Fons Trompenaars, an organizational theorist, and management consultant suggested the organizations to exnovate i.e. we need to understand what other companies are doing differently, learn and adopt from them.