In a recent discussion I was asked how I harness innovation.
My immediate thought – How long is infinity?
A quick internet search shows many countries and many companies claiming to have the upper hand in this domain. For example Periora Innovation has an interesting article targeted for small to medium enterprises, which reflects much of the thinking out there:
• A better-informed team
• A rewarded team
• A better-informed customer
• A high-tech (college) partner
This ‘systematic ’ approach helps close a loop, for me though this is too stiff.
Business has only two functions – Marketing and Innovation
Many articles also talked about the difference with Creative’s, how to manage Geeks for the best return etc. – and here is the central point of this blog –
Everyone has an inner geek, a lingering creative, an innovator par excellence; and as leaders it’s your job to find it and keep it alive.
Supporting Innovation isn’t a separate part of the role it is an integral part of your role.
As leaders we must believe and acknowledge that innovation and creativity lurks in everyone. It is not the exclusive domain of the gifted, the super-intelligent or the ones with the brightest colours or the fastest computer.
If you had 200 employees will you progress further by each making a small innovation, a small gain, or by placing all your bets on the ‘smart ones’?
Allowing innovation to come through is about all the little things, about your agility as a leader and an organisation, about how you listen, and how you respond.
The devil doesn’t need an advocate. The brave need supporters, not critics.
Seth Godin Creativity
What processes and practices in your company suppress innovation by unintentionally sidelining the myriad of champions in the cheaper seats?
What can we do to encourage the ‘meek’ to be brave?