Employee Experience

Not Structured for Innovation? Then Don’t Expect it to Happen!

24 August 2023



Nothing excites me more than trying something new with a team of bright, creative minds. But that doesn’t happen by accident…  

Just having creative people come up with ideas isn’t enough. Studies of Kodak’s demise have shown there was no shortage of either in that organisation. But Kodak’s leadership lacked the discipline and direction to steer innovation in the right direction. And in the end, they failed to embrace digital technology on time. 

Creativity and innovation are often associated with spontaneity. So it’s counter-intuitive that promoting novel thought requires extensive discipline and planning. Google, for one, understands this. Its 20% Policy allows employees to spend 20% of their time on creative pursuits unrelated to their work. However, they must have a clear vision and objective, allowing for guidance and evaluation. 

 Here are three innovation initiatives to consider; 

  1. Form a Creativity Plan – This includes creating goals for the kind of innovation you want to foster, how to achieve it, and who will work on it. Need some workshopping prompts? I love how the UN links the campaign to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 
  1. Foster supportive Organisational Culture – Are you fostering an environment where employees feel safe to express their creativity fully? Review your performance and incentive policies to ensure they encourage unconventional thinking and view errors as part of the creative process. Get employees engaged with town halls dedicated to innovation.  
  1. Invest in Training – Programs that teach creativity, problem-solving and decision-making skills are critical for innovation. They will equip employees with the skills and knowledge to generate fresh perspectives. And direct them to new, innovative ideas. 

Remember, if you’re not structured for innovation, it won’t happen!