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How to Encourage Innovation at Your Organization

2020 and a new year will be upon us before you know it. A new year brings an opportunity for a fresh perspective and new initiatives. Organizations perish without innovation. Encouraging ideation and innovation is fundamental for the survival and success of each institution. But do your employees have the latitude, freedom, encouragement, and forum for sharing ideas? How can you set an organizational culture for open exchange and forward progress. We have three suggestions.

  1. Identify channels of communication. Make sure employees know who their supervisors are and feel comfortable sharing input and expressing concern to them. Openness must be an organizational culture reflected at all levels. Listening is the vital first step.

  2. Make space for creativity. This might come in unexpected avenues. Often we gain perspective when we step away from a problem—and even our physical space. Get your staff out of the office for a volunteer day where employees work together with a local community group.

  3. Encourage ownership. When a staff member offers an idea for a particular area, allow them to get involved and be part of shaping change.

  4. Recognize innovation. Celebrate your victories as an organization and appreciate the individuals that made it possible. When a person’s idea reaps good results, thank them personally and acknowledge them publicly. By recognizing positive outcomes, you encourage more.