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How do you enable innovation in your organisation?

The 21st Century Organisation is a learning organisation: innovation isn’t something it does, it’s who it is. But the presence of innovation is not a natural progression; it needs deliberate pursuit. Here are some things you can do to enable it in your organisation:

Education

  • Educate employees on the whys and hows of innovation
  • Help corporate outliers/heretics/early adopters communicate within the management norm: managers can avoid innovation if they can’t relate to the language and behaviour of its advocates
  • Reduce fear of the unfamiliar - celebrate the new and different

Structure

  • Create practice fields - innovation needs trial and error
  • Open up slack in the system: hyper-efficiency kills innovation
  • Become more open, don’t lock it down - share what you know and look beyond your traditional boundaries
  • Increase employee freedom and sense of ownership

Culture

  • Work on your personal mastery - the more of a learner you are, the more you realise what you don’t know or can’t control
  • Ensure there’s a shared vision
  • Regularly challenge the status quo mindset to break down mental models

Resourcing

  • Multiply the funding routes away from vertical (senior) approval so that no one person (boss, CFO etc.) can kill the progression from idea to innovation
  • Consider overweighting decision making groups with people new to the industry/scenario
  • Give people room to become involved - today’s employee cannot be expected to “add” innovation to an already loaded schedule


"Not one company in a hundred has made innovation everyone’s job, every day."

Gary Hamel

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  1. Georgie Wiles

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