Innovation is imperative in a business’s survival, so every entrepreneur must cultivate an innovation mindset within the company. However, how do you instill this type of mindset in the workplace?
How can you actively foster innovation in the minds of your employees and let them see the value of innovation as much as you do?
In this article, we will discuss what the innovation mindset is all about, including the steps that you can take to implement it within the business.
What is the innovation mindset?
The innovation mindset is a holistic perspective that focuses on realizing new products, processes, propositions, or business models to create added value for customers and employees.
It is a set of attitudes, inclinations, interests, and cultures that acknowledge, prioritize, and understand the role and significance of innovation in a company’s growth and development.
The innovation mindset develops the creative side of the organization in the pursuit of continually generating viable ideas. It signifies passion and ingenuity in exploring opportunities, trends, possibilities, and improvement.
What is the innovation mindset all about?
The innovation mindset is composed of many interrelated factors such as:
Usually, a spark of creativity ignites innovation. However, creativity is not limited to the creation of new products and services alone, nor is it only about the production of breakthrough technologies like Apple and Spotify.
Creativity means finding strategic issues and consequently solving them to create real business value.
It involves one’s resourcefulness in identifying what challenges need to be addressed, the sharpness in determining what processes have to be improved, and the ability to capture new markets with carefully-researched ideas or with other unique and original concepts.
In innovation, one idea is worthless. A company that understands how important it is to innovate knows that they need to have at least 300 ideas, or even more. They do not fall in love with their own ideas, nor do they believe that they are saving time by making fast decisions.
Instead, organizations with an innovation mindset believe in the need to ideate continuously.
They are committed to devising the best strategies and identifying the most optimal ways to execute them. They want to leave a positive impact on every customer and establish a remarkable experience with their brand.
A business that fosters an innovative culture is a business that promotes productivity, critical thinking, competence, and growth. It instills innovation as a staple part of everyday operations. It develops the ability of every employee to respond rapidly to the challenges in the market.
A culture that supports innovation also motivates people to improve themselves, not only for the growth of the company but also for their very own professional development.
It believes in the power of constantly educating employees by pushing them to actively train and participate in the company’s innovative processes.
Having an innovation mindset empowers the capacity of every employee to contribute meaningful insights to the organization’s innovation projects.
It sees innovation as a collective effort — a feat that would not be made possible without the cooperation of every employee or the collaboration of departments within the enterprise. It also brings different strengths, expertise, and perspectives together.
Lastly, inclusivity emphasizes that the best innovations come from organizations that include everyone regardless of race, fortes, experiences, and even background.
By including everyone, people become more receptive to change, which will help adapt innovations faster, resulting in success.
Having an innovation mindset means being open-minded to change. Possessing this attribute allows individuals to entertain various standpoints from those around them — even ones that highly contradict their opinions and beliefs.
Moreover, being open-minded also includes being open to challenges, criticisms, realizations, and feedback. There is always room for improvement, especially if an individual gives space for it. Sometimes, processes can be made better with suggestions from others.
Why is cultivating an innovation mindset essential?
Inculcating attitudes and practices that focus on innovation is a great way to reinforce ingenuity, productivity, creativity, and growth within the organization. It motivates people to be responsive, creative, and effective in addressing and resolving issues experienced by customers regularly.
It also provides the quality of innovation that a company needs to survive, especially in a competitive and saturated industry.
Moreover, an innovation mindset brings a continuous stream of viable concepts, solutions, products, services, and processes that can bring phenomenal growth.
It pushes teams to work together and obtain success by actively engaging and participating in the innovation activities of the enterprise.
It also helps embody values that can help in the professional development of every employee, like collaboration and humility in accepting negative feedback.
Lastly, an innovation mindset makes innovation a standard, daily practice. It makes innovation innate to the company, shaping its day-to-day operations with a passion for creating added value for the people, the employees, and the entire organization.
How to implement an innovation mindset in your business?
Here are the five steps that you can take to implement an innovation mindset in your business:
Step 1: Develop an Innovation Strategy
Instilling an innovative mindset involves creating a series of small and continuous changes that encourage improvement and growth.
This step requires a lot of planning from a business leader’s end as it requires specific action plans and objectives that the company needs to obtain with innovation.
Discuss relevant tools and methods with your designated supervisors and managers, including metrics and performance indicators that would measure efficiency, progress, and success.
Create an innovation engine that will continuously gather ideas and select viable concepts. Transform them into successful projects that create substantial business value.
Focus on why you innovate, understand what you need to concentrate on, and make a clear and result-oriented strategy that could bring value to the company.
Step 2: Create Innovation Officers
Choose several professionals and appoint them as innovation officers. Study the ins and outs of the enterprise. Together, brainstorm how you can create and maintain an innovative culture in the company.
You can also ask them how you can encourage every employee to participate in your innovation activities.
In creating your innovation committee, select people with various skills, positions, experiences, roles, and backgrounds. Reiterate the value and power of diversity in bringing remarkable changes.
Assign them with different roles in your innovation process.
Give them responsibilities, particularly in creating the innovation portfolio, sorting and evaluating ideas, facilitating ideation sessions and debates, measuring results, and communicating every progress to authorized personnel.
Remember that this committee has to be keen and agile in identifying problems, creating optimal solutions, generating results, and delivering value to the organization.
Step 3: Encourage Collaboration in Your Company
Another vital aspect of implementing an innovative mindset is collaboration. Developing a habit of helping one another in the pursuit of generating ideas and camaraderie can be very helpful in maintaining a productive and competitive workplace.
Employee collaboration brings results. When intensely practiced, it keeps people motivated and efficient in addressing and resolving issues. It promotes employee engagement which aids in better work performance and financial outcomes.
You can do this by creating innovation challenges and other competitions that require collaboration among departments. You can also opt to simply include your employees in your usual brainstorming issues to make them feel that their opinions and insights matter to you.
With employee collaboration, everyone develops a complete understanding of their roles and responsibilities. They become more unified with the strategies of the company. Because of how active and engaged people are, tasks and decisions are made faster and easier.
As a result, work and production become more efficient, team relationships and dynamics improve, and projects are delivered successfully.
Step 4: Make Use of Digital Technology
You can choose to take the previous steps further by applying technology in doing them. Investing in technology does not only make your work easier. It also speeds up relevant processes and helps you do everything with convenience.
Utilizing the power of innovation software and other technological services helps you do things digitally.
You can automate processes and introduce digital transformation in activities like outlining innovation strategies and cascading necessary information and toolkits for innovation teams.
You can also do the same with improving communication within the organization and collaborating with various and significant parties.
Elevating the quality of your ideation process by applying gamification options is also doable to make the activity more fun and exciting for your employees. Hesitant personnel can also use anonymous personas to share their ideas without being afraid of scrutiny and rejection.
Investing in technology keeps your employees up-to-date with technological advancements that could help them develop new and relevant skills to keep themselves professionally competitive for the organization.
Step 5: Manage All Ideas Well
Great ideas breed innovation and tremendous growth. They provide lots of possibilities for entrepreneurs who are creative and knowledgeable enough to bring them to completion.
Various standpoints in addressing challenges and opportunities provide a diverse list of viable ideas that can turn into phenomenal innovations when studied and managed well.
An organization’s stream of insights gets enhanced with an idea management system in place. It gets classified into different levels of feasibility and assessment for further improvement. Moreover, they get converted into projects that may increase profitability and development.
Next steps: As it gets from the roadmap to solution delivery, companies have to oversee its progress. Idea management systems can help you do this. You can use them to monitor how an idea does on every phase for a higher innovation success rate.