How Leaders Can Inspire Innovation By Creating a Culture That Supports It
Businesses compete for high-quality employees who not only achieve present goals but also innovate for future successes. The job of business leaders, however, doesn’t stop at hiring the best. In order for the best employees to flourish, leaders must give them the support and opportunity they need to grow and strive for new challenges.
Innovation doesn’t happen on its own. It takes thought leadership, leading by example, and encouraging positive change. Giving staff something to aspire to contributes more to increase innovation, performance, and creativity than almost anything else.
Leaders must give their teams a reason to rise above the rest. They do that by defining a purpose, recognizing talents, and challenging people in ways that make them desire to achieve company goals as their own.
Here are five ideas to keep in mind when cultivating an innovative culture:
Set Goals Worth Achieving
Whether as individuals or on teams, employees want to understand their role in goal-setting and achievement. Leaders build teams with members that complement each other’s skills and balance strengths against weaknesses.
When setting goals for native app design, for example, teams need to know that they can achieve with the first prototype, but not be burdened by unreasonable expectations for it to be perfect. At the same time, not challenging a team enough can lead to boredom and indifference; leaders need to find the sweet spot.
Clarify Contribution Value
A key factor for employee engagement and innovation is demonstrating the work has value to the company. Leaders need to educate, inform, and encourage employees to understand where they fit in the overall success of the company. When workers understand their value, they bring a higher level of commitment to their roles, which sparks greater creativity.
Manage Teams As Part of a Cohesive Unit
As a leader, the overall view of the company’s workflow and goals are often more visible than to individual employee teams. Teams focus on their own tasks, but they should always be aware of other teams and departments, too. A good leader encourages collaboration between teams when it makes sense.
Choose the Right Staff for the Goal
Leaders encourage innovation in the workplace by designing a project and picking the team to execute it. Putting together the right group of people by understanding their skills and personal goals can create a more energetic workplace.
Leave Room for Worthwhile Risk
Innovative leaders take risks. They keep their eye on the big picture, set the next goal higher or in a new direction, and plunge into making it happen. Pushing teams to think the same way lifts everyone’s ideas to new levels.
Experienced leaders know how to guide risk in good directions and let employees take chances. Nurturing risk-taking also means the occasional failure, but a solid leader lets team members know that they have support and back-up when things don’t work out.
Truly innovative leaders understand creativity as a means of success because that’s what made them achievers. A good leader provides and participates in the environment that leads others to the same levels of success.