By Drew Marshall
Jan. 31, 2013
Companies are faced with an era of constant evolution and creative disruption. They realize that they need to implement a culture of innovation to succeed. Can companies truly change their business objectives to include innovation without first instilling certain values in management?
Innovation: From the top down
Managers are really the only ones who can bring their teams together and implement meaningful and successful changes. If managers are not using a common language of innovation to link the actions of their team members to overall organizational goals, then employees will put their attention and dedication to other projects that they are more interested in, seem easier to implement, or for which they are given encouraging consequences.
Innovation isn’t just a loose term to provide a company with talking points. New skills, processes, and duties will need to be integrated into existing roles, and management should be tracking these changes. In the case of communication, absence does not make the heart fonder; it makes the heart go yonder. Managers need to be constantly reminding or providing support to help their team reach innovation targets.
If the whole company is to be involved, management should begin communicating about innovation from the outset. When implementing innovation-focused processes and systems, managers should first establish a common language. Here’s what you should cover:
Determine what the word “innovation” means for your company.
Make sure the needs that the company wants to target for solution design are crystal clear.
Have a visible game plan for maintaining both current revenue and customers while branching out in a new direction.
Set expectations for how employees should engage with innovation.
Define initial targets for innovation performance.
Establish short interval reports to track progress and demonstrate success.
If you aren’t ready to do these things then you aren’t ready for innovation.