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Inspire Innovation in the Office

teamA few days ago, I stumbled upon a fantastic article titled “How to Create A Corporate Culture of Innovation” by Lisa Barone, Outspoken Media.  I found Lisa’s ideas exceptional for inspiring innovation in the office.  I hope to implement a few of these ideas in our office and thought you might find them helpful as well.

 

1.  Abolish the Hierarchy

When there’s a boss, people wait to be told what to do.  When you create teams, people pitch in what needs to be done.  It encourages creativity and encourages people to step up.

 

2.  Stress the Bigger Picture

Everyone needs to understand the company’s bigger picture.  Where are you headed?  What does the company value and what are they trying to create?  As long as employees understand this, they can make decisions with the company’s goals in mind.  Without it, and you’re sending them out blind.

 

3.  Support Mistakes

It’s one thing to encourage your employees to take risks, it’s another thing to give them your full support when they fail.  No one is going to take a chance or try something new if it means potentially getting them fired.  Create an organization that rewards innovation through pay, promotion, validation, whatever works.

 

4.  Don’t Pigeon Hole People

Part of removing your corporate hierarchy means not pigeon-holing people into one job. Get rid of the permanence.  If someone thinks all they’re ever going to be is part of your writing team, they’re not going to learn the other aspects of the company.  They’re not going to invest themselves and offer up ideas for other departments.  Encourage people to sit in on meetings outside of their particular field if they have an interest. Encourage them to offer ideas.

 
5.  Give People Access to Information

As an employee, there’s nothing more frustrating and more defeating than to feel like you don’t have access to the information you need to do your job or make decisions.  If you want to inspire innovation, let go of your ability to control this as much as possible.  Give people the information they need to make ballsy decisions, with all the facts behind them. It will make a world of difference.

 

6.  Highlight Innovation

Keep employees up-to-date on where you are, how you’re innovating and who has been responsible for pushing the company forward.  Nothing lights a fire or sparks those juices like some healthy competition. Use it.