A quick write up on innovation feels right to start off the new year. I personally love innovating and have been in my office drafting new designs and creating interesting (and still engaging) content for 2024 - all in hopes to best serve the glorious teams and individuals I have the honor to work with.
However, many organizations aren’t totally clear or aligned on what innovation looks like for them. And since goals vary across organizations, departments, teams, and individuals, it’s important to talk about WHY we want to innovate before deciding HOW we want to innovate. Why? Because when we’re able to stand united with a common goal in mind, our innovation efforts run less risk of wasting time or energy working on things that aren’t relevant or necessary.
By innovating towards a common goal, and keeping innovation top-of-mind, we can collectively work towards bettering our organization through new and creative solutions.
What Is Innovation?
Innovation in the workplace can be divided into two major categories:
Organizational innovation, which strives to maximize efficiency and simplify processes through new solutions to organizational challenges
Innovation within industry, which prioritizes advancement of offerings and new solutions to your customer’s challenges
While the end-goal of each type of innovation is different, the process is largely the same, as it focuses on creative thinking and new solutions to old problems or challenges. By deciding where and why they’d like to innovate, organizations can help create a common goal among their people and foster meaningful innovation from within.
How Does Innovation Benefit Organizations?
It’s not far-fetched to imagine that innovative collaboration and forward-thinking mindsets can contribute to the success of an organization. There are a few specific ways that innovative thinking can make a clear, direct impact on operations in the workplace:
The very nature of innovative thinking requires us to strip things down and think of them from square one. By seeking out new ways to be efficient or improve processes, an organization can foster proactivity across their people.
When your teams are aware of innovative goals and opportunities, they can better work together to approach challenges and problems. By removing some of the “fluff” from collaborative meetings and projects, you can optimize the way teamwork looks from within.
Employees have the opportunity to contribute to personal and organizational recognition by forming a united, innovative front. Innovative ideas are a great way to stand out among your peers, but they’re also a great way for an organization to stand out among their competition.
How to Foster Innovation Within Work Culture
Keep in mind, just because we say we want to innovate, it does not just happen. People actually tend to resist change and new ideas, thus focusing on mindset around innovation is important. There are a few mindsets you can promote to increase innovation throughout your workplace and inject innovative thinking into your work culture:
Promote an open-ness to change
Prioritize positivity across communications
Increase professional development surrounding innovative thinking
Study other innovative thinkers or innovative brands
Promote an overall sense of confidence to increase contributions
I wish you a Happy NEW Year with productive and impactful In-NEW-vation!