As companies grow, they can become less flexible. A growing number of departments, conflicting goals and too many decision makers begin to dilute the company’s priorities. As a result, a company becomes slowed, or becomes stagnate, and innovation suffers. Here are five strategies to ensure your company continues to stay innovative without sacrificing growth.
Reward your employees for brainstorming and asking imaginative questions. If they feel afraid to fail or that their ideas will be rejected, creativity will suffer along with the generation of new ideas. Nurture those ideas with space, materials, and autonomy to develop them.
Hold them accountable without micromanaging. Help your employees create goals that allow them to focus and work independently. Check in every once in a while to encourage, measure progress and ensure efforts are focused on those goals, adjusting them if necessary.
Avoid placing blame
Yes, your employees will make mistakes and some very promising ideas will fail. But it’s your job to help your staff pull out the lessons from these mistakes. Don’t punish anyone! Remember that failures are just little obstacles on the road to success!
Increase learning agility
Train your employees to give and receive feedback constructively. To be successful, your team must employ a growth mindset—accumulating feedback and adjusting strategies without getting frustrated. Equip yourself with an agile workforce who can learn new skills quickly, adjusting to new trends and company goals. Encourage employees to keep data that tracks their own performance and integrates feedback into their development plan. Storing this documentation in a safe place ensures other departments or teams won’t try to reinvent the wheel.
Encourage your teams and departments to communicate and share knowledge so they’re not duplicating tasks and procedures. This is inefficient and counter-productive and can sometimes lead to squabbles or feuds between departments. Instead, create cross-functional teams with members who have different strengths. Their functionality and capacity is likely to skyrocket. Be able to form teams quickly based on member’s talents and the ever-evolving needs of the company. Fresh perspectives can inspire ideas and alternative approaches.
Rejuvenate and reset
When your staff is overworked and overwhelmed with impossible tasks and pressing deadlines, they’re unlikely to be able to lift their heads and generate some sort of inventive idea. Instead, they’re probably just trying to survive the day-to-day and can become discouraged. Create a culture where it’s safe to take an occasional break—a day off, a short walk or even a vacation—anything to reinvigorate your creative side.
For more tips on how to inspire and facilitate an innovative staff, contact us today.