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5 Ways to Cultivate a Culture of Innovation 

It is easier for companies to feel comfortable in the status quo, but it’s often what holds them back. On the one hand, it’s important for companies to establish and follow standard operating procedures, but it’s equally valuable to find new avenues to provide solutions and services to customers. That’s where innovation begins.

The workplace unites people from different backgrounds, cultures, and thought patterns to achieve a universal goal—to develop and grow a business. But that reality is strained without a culture of innovation. So how do we cultivate that growth?

Having a work environment that encourages creativity and out of the box thinking drives advancement. Individuals who feel comfortable questioning, analyzing, and embracing change are the product the culture.

Characteristics of an Innovative Culture:
  • Unique– Celebrating the unique differences between people.
  • Aspirational– Dream big, reach for the stars.
  • Curiosity– Challenge assumptions, ask questions, seek truth.
  • Trustworthy– Gain and earn trust. Create a safe environment for new thoughts.
  • Supportive– Support individuals, and the creative process.
  • Cooperative– Build a collaborative environment that is inclusive.
  • Purpose– Have a clear understanding of positive goals and outcomes.
  • Connection– Focus on relationships and commonalities.

These characteristics are not easy to attain. But they can make a world of a difference. Innovative cultures benefit employees at every level. It creates transparency and builds trust. It creates personal satisfaction to have freedom to have an opinion.

How to Create a Culture of Innovation
  1. Establish Leadership-Driven Innovation: Culture starts at the top. Leadership needs to establish a value system. Innovative cultures put a premium on ingenuity. Making innovation a priority and promoting that pattern of thought internally and externally is highly important. When a brand is defined for its innovation, it will motivate people to join the company.
  2. Celebrate the Milestones: Set corporate goals around achieving new heights. Allow change to be celebrated in every department, no matter how big or small. Some might not think their role is positioned to be innovative, but leaders need to support innovation across all departments and in various forms.
  3. Foster Team-Driven Innovation: True innovation is never competitive. Lay the groundwork for people to share in focus groups, think tanks, and open desk discussions. These platforms provide employees opportunities to contribute their insights and expertise and encourage collaboration and brainstorming at all levels of the company.
  4. Commit to invest in innovation: How much of a company’s budget goes toward new innovations? Investing has a direct result in allowing employees to be confident about innovating. Also, invest in tools and resources to support creativity. If there is software, conference, or printer that can help bring an idea to life, leaders should provide a way to gain access to these tools.

All in all, in today’s competitive business landscape, a culture of innovation sets you apart. From Apple, Google, or Amazon, there is no surprise that several of the world’s largest companies are built from a foundation of Invention. By prioritizing innovation, companies can stay ahead of the curve promoting new breakthroughs, advancements, and market relevancy.