5 Tips to Create A Culture of Innovation in Your Organisation

Creating a culture of innovation is an integral part of building a successful business. Although innovation is crucial to the successful development of an organisation — many are struggling to innovate. Here are five tips to create a culture of innovation within your organisation

Creating a culture of innovation is an integral part of building a successful business. Without innovation, an organisation cannot beat the competition and thrive in the future. 

According to PWC, 54% of organisations struggle to bridge the gap between the innovation strategy and the larger business strategy and 22% of businesses don’t create enough great ideas.

Although innovation is crucial to the successful development of an organisation — many are struggling to innovate. As a result, poor innovation burdens their bottom line, employee morale, and hinders future success.

With that said, here are five tips to create a culture of innovation within your organisation.

1. Start With a Strong Philosophy

Creating a culture of innovation starts with philosophy and trust. Many employees might have great ideas, however, they may have an array of reasons why they refrain from sharing those ideas. Some are shy, some are worried their ideas are not good enough and some are simply unsure how to approach innovation in their organisation.

An organisation with a culture that fosters the right temperament, skills, and creativity in its people is essential for growth. Your employees must have the freedom required to create fresh ideas without fear and there must be a workforce that feels motivated, inspired and empowered to participate in change. 

You can achieve this by giving everyone a voice and enabling everyone to have freedom of expression. This means busting the barriers of organisational hierarchy that often block employees from contributing in certain areas.

If employees feel like they are an important part of an organisation and that their ideas matter, they will be more comfortable sharing those ideas.

2. Don’t Punish Failure - Welcome It

The world’s most prominent inventions and business ideas rarely happened overnight and were the result of multiple failures before becoming a success. When building a culture of innovation, failure should be embraced. While you might be hesitant to welcome failure at the risk of damaging the overall health of the organisation, it’s important to bear in mind that without risk, there is no reward. 

Many organisations value unconventional thinking and urge their workforce to think outside the box. While it’s important to make employees aware that every idea, big or small, is valid, you should also encourage them to come up with truly impractical ideas, too. Although some ideas may be unrealistic or extreme, the discussions that these ideas can spark as a result can build momentum in generating even more ideas and creative opportunities.

3. Have A Superb Communication Strategy

Communication sounds so simple on the surface, but so many organisations struggle to communicate with their workforce. According to Gallagher, 60% of organisations don’t have a long-term strategy for their communications. Additionally, 57% of employees aren’t receiving clear directions, and 69% of managers aren’t comfortable communicating with their staff according to Harvard Business Review.

It is challenging to create a culture of innovation when an organisation is not communicating clearly. You can’t expect employees to be willing to innovate if there is confusion regarding where the company is going and what role they have in that future. Many employees hold back from sharing their ideas because they simply have never been told how they can participate. 

Feedback is another critical element of communication that cannot be ignored. If the workforce has been encouraged to innovate and come forward with their ideas, only for them to be ignored or disregarded, this will negatively affect morale and further prevent them from having input in the future. 

It is impossible to create a company culture based around growth, development, and engagement without giving employees feedback. Subsequently, poor feedback leads to a high staff turnover and organisations can lose their best talent this way.

4. Use Rewards and Goals to Incentivise

Even some of the world’s greatest innovators need encouragement to flourish. Rewards and goals are a great way to drive employee-led innovation, especially for those that need a little more encouragement to share their ideas. One survey found 38% of employees would like rewards for their good work while 47% of employees feel new growth opportunities — such as promotions — are the greatest rewards for their achievements.

Setting clear goals inspires the entire team to innovate. Can you imagine a race without a finish line? Would you have the motivation to train and perform? It’s the same within an organisation. Your employees will strive towards creating new ideas if there is an end goal in sight. 

Innovation goals can increase employee engagement causing them to feel a greater connection to their organisation. Clear goals keep everyone accountable and unite the workforce towards the same end result. 

5. Use Innovation Health Checks

Everyone talks about the importance of innovation, but many employees struggle to define what innovation means. That’s where organisations can benefit from Innovation Health Checks to help employees with the following: 

● The definition of innovation

● How to find ideas

● How and where to submit ideas

● How to successfully navigate the innovation process

● Building creativity techniques

A culture of innovation is only successful if ideas are being captured and actioned. If your workforce is inspired to innovate but the ideas are not documented or followed up, what’s the point in being innovative?

And while some organisations work hard to communicate with their workforce and encourage them to share ideas, many do not have the correct systems and processes in place to discuss, explore and develop concepts further. 

At Simply Do, we help organisations improve their innovation by giving them the framework, momentum and support to unlock game-changing ideas. Our people + platform approach means our experienced team are here to help you along the way.

Josh Barnett
Senior Customer Success Manager