How to Keep Organizational Innovation Alive: Ultimate Guide13 min read

Organizational innovation is the process of receiving and utilizing new ideas to satisfy the stakeholders of an organization. It involves creating value and increasing efficiency to drive business growth.

The ability to innovate is critical to organizational success and requires constant facilitation.

In this blog, we will discuss why it is important to sustain organizational innovation and how to do so effectively.

Let’s start.

What is organizational innovation?

Organizational innovation involves the utilization of new concepts to meet the expectations of an organization’s stakeholders, leading to the development of new products and services.

This process aims to increase the company’s value and efficiency, driving business growth. It serves as a guiding force that propels organizations and individuals toward progress and success, which is why organizations need to learn the methods of keeping innovation alive.

This can involve the development of entirely new products or services or the improvement of existing offerings through the introduction of new features, technologies, or processes.

Why do you need to sustain organizational innovation?

You need to sustain or keep organizational innovation alive for five major reasons.

1. Organizational innovation affects business and leadership

The concept of organizational innovation has gained significant attention in recent years due to the ever-increasing competition in the global business environment.

Organizations continuously seek ways to stay ahead of competitors and achieve sustainable growth. In this context, innovation has become a key driver of business success and a critical factor for survival.

As a result, organizational innovation has been identified as one factor affecting business and leadership. And for this reason, many leaders incorporate true innovation as one of their business’s core values.

They create an environment for employees that encourages them to innovate by providing resources, support, and rewards for taking risks, working on innovative ideas, generating solutions through diverse perspectives, cultivating innovation skill sets, and practicing other innovative behaviors.

2. Creativity is a necessary skill that leaders should have in addressing problems

Corporate leaders recognize creativity as the primary leadership proficiency required to navigate a progressively intricate future.

To survive and thrive in such a dynamic environment, leaders must possess specific skills and qualities that enable them to navigate complexities and make informed decisions. One of these skills is creativity.

Select Key Performance Indicators

Creativity refers to the ability to generate innovative ideas and solutions, think outside the box, and approach problems in novel ways.

Leaders and other management executives who can harness their creativity are better equipped to anticipate and respond to changing circumstances, seize opportunities, and drive innovation in their organizations.

3. Companies gain a competitive advantage through organizational innovation

In the workplace, innovation is crucial for companies to gain a competitive advantage in penetrating markets quickly and establishing better connections with developing markets, opening up larger opportunities, especially in affluent nations.

Innovation can foster the development of new ideas and imbue innovators with a proactive and confident mindset to undertake risks and accomplish objectives.

Although the creative process is not always easy, having an innovative culture within a company can facilitate growth, even though it may require taking a chance with new methods in addition to tried-and-tested ones.

4. Every effort for innovation can become a collaborative activity

Innovation takes other employees to be open-minded and collaborative, which can foster a culture of continuous learning and improvement within the organization.

When employees are encouraged to think creatively and share their ideas, they are more likely to be engaged and committed to the organization’s goals and objectives.

Plus, collaboration fosters diversity, which usually creates a new idea, technology, or creation that entices customers around the world to patronize a specific brand.

5. Encouraging innovation results in business growth

Innovation is not always easy, as you need to convince employees to engage in the activity. However, having an innovative culture within a company can facilitate growth, even though it may require taking a chance with new methods in addition to tried-and-tested ones.

When innovation is embraced as a core value of the organization, employees are more likely to feel empowered to share their ideas and take ownership of the innovation process.

Moreover, by taking a chance at new methods and ideas, companies can differentiate themselves from their competitors and establish a reputation for being innovative and forward-thinking.

How to sustain organizational innovation?

1. Establish a course for innovation

Your involvement in innovation is contingent on your position within the organization, and the obligations for fostering innovation differ based on a leadership level.

Structural Archetypes and Innovativeness

Whether you are a top-level executive who guides the entire organization in innovation, a functional leader responsible for steering and advancing that innovation, or a manager who champions innovation, it is crucial to recognize that innovation is a tool.

You should use it to achieve an objective, as it is not the objective itself, necessitating consistent facilitation.

2. Acquire resources to facilitate innovation

Organizational innovation requires adequate resources.

Many organizations that are highly proficient in innovation establish venture capital funds specifically for innovation purposes, such as developing and conducting experiments assessing ideas’ viability.

These venture capital funds are typically managed by innovation teams who are responsible for identifying and nurturing new ideas, as well as conducting feasibility studies and developing business cases to justify the investment.

Other resources that can help bring ideas to fruition are the appropriate technology, infrastructure, and human resources.

3. Promote ownership and accountability

You might oversee a consistent team of individuals or form distinct teams for various projects. You may even have team members who work on diverse teams and projects.

To cultivate a sense of ownership and add an element of enjoyment, motivate each team to develop a team name and name all their projects. Facilitate group discussions.

Gather the entire team to view or read the chosen material collectively or as a unit. Allow the team to select the content they will discuss and allocate at least an hour for discussion.

The conversation can be free-form, directed, or centered around a list of queries. The facilitator may create the questions, or the team can submit them in advance.

4. Design exercises that foster team-building

Develop team-building exercises focusing on a team or small group project or obstacle.

These activities should push team members to work together to overcome challenges, build trust, and develop a shared sense of purpose.

Organizations can use innovation platforms with gamification features to make team-building exercises even more productive.

These platforms can promote employee engagement by encouraging team members to participate in innovation-related activities such as brainstorming sessions, ideation challenges, and innovation contests.

Gamification features such as point systems, leaderboards, and badges can incentivize participation and help drive organizational innovation.

By combining team-building exercises with innovation platforms, organizations can create a culture of collaboration, creativity, and innovation, increasing productivity and success.

5. Conduct innovation training

With the rapidly evolving technology and work environment, it is essential for employees to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and advancements to remain competitive in the market.

Although individual training is gaining popularity, team training should not be overlooked. This allows employees to learn from each other’s experiences and leverage their diverse strengths to solve problems and accomplish tasks.

6. Encourage healthy competition

Competition can stimulate creativity and innovation, while also encouraging teamwork and cooperation.

You can facilitate competition in a way that promotes positive outcomes. Alternatively, you can think of it as an A/B split test.

The approach allows two or more teams (either local, national, or global) to develop a product, service, or solution. Establish the parameters and let the teams innovate.

Then, evaluate each team’s solution at a designated time and decide on one or more to move forward with.

7. Measure results and added value

Measuring results and added value allows you to track progress and determine the impact of your innovation efforts.

Set key performance indicators, clear goals, objectives, and criteria. Monitor the outcomes to determine whether they were achieved. Examples of assessing metrics include sales, revenue, market share, and customer satisfaction.

Additionally, measuring added value can help you understand the benefits of your innovation efforts beyond financial gains. This involves assessing your innovation initiatives’ social, environmental, and ethical impact.

For instance, you may consider the positive impact of your innovation on employee engagement, social responsibility, and sustainability.

8. Learn to work with calculating the ROI

ROI is a metric used to evaluate the financial efficiency and profitability of a particular investment, project, or initiative. By measuring ROI, you can determine the value an innovation initiative generates and identify improvement areas.

To calculate ROI, you need to consider the costs associated with an innovation initiative and compare them to the benefits or returns it generates. This can include increased revenue, reduced costs, improved customer satisfaction, and enhanced brand reputation.

By quantifying these benefits and comparing them to the costs, you can determine whether the initiative is worth pursuing and identify opportunities to optimize its impact.

9. Communicate victories and failures

Sharing successes can motivate and inspire others, leading to increased innovation and progress. Celebrating these successes can also create a positive organizational culture that values innovation and encourages continued efforts.

On the other hand, openly discussing failures can be just as important. Innovation often involves risk-taking and experimentation, and not all ideas will be successful. However, failures can provide valuable lessons that can inform future innovation efforts.

By sharing what did not work and why, organizations can learn from their mistakes and avoid repeating them in the future.

10. Engage partners/customers

Collaborating with external stakeholders allows organizations to gain valuable insights, feedback, and perspectives that can lead to new and improved ideas.

Involving partners and engaging customers also helps to build stronger relationships and loyalty, which can drive long-term success.

Organizations can use various approaches such as focus groups, surveys, co-creation sessions, and open innovation platforms to effectively engage partners and customers in the innovation process.

These methods allow stakeholders to share their thoughts and ideas, provide feedback on existing products or services, and even co-create new ones.

Build a culture of innovation

Building a culture of innovation is essential for organizations that want to sustain innovation over the long term. It involves creating an environment that fosters and rewards creativity, risk-taking, and experimentation.

One way to facilitate this culture is by using innovation management software like Accept Mission. This platform provides tools that allow teams to collaborate and share their ideas, and it helps leaders track progress and measure success.

By using Accept Mission, organizations can create a culture of innovation that encourages employees to contribute to the organization’s growth and success.

Book a demo of Accept Mission today.

Published On: March 24th, 2023Categories: Innovation strategy

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