Innovation and creativity are hot commodities in today’s business world. No wonder. Taking into account the competition and the need to keep a continuously competitive advantage. Innovation and creativity are not a result of announcements or expectations; it is a long process that requires changes in different aspects of an organization. In this post, we will explore the management system and organization model.
There are several requirements for innovation. Innovation required more autonomy and decision authority to the teams. People need to know that they can fail and make mistakes. Innovation needs to be shielded from the current organization’s immune system. The organization’s strategic behavior needs to be more collaborative. It’s always impossible to do innovation if you’re tied with “keep the lights on” activities.
To implement innovation, a change in management and organization structure is really needed. As the scope of innovation is bigger within an organization, the more changes in management and organization structure are needed.
The first change that needs to impact anyone in the scope of innovation is changing how to impact people from fear to inspiration. Most organizations still use explicit fear to “motivate” people. If you want innovation, you need to replace the fear with motivation. Not an easy task for managers.
The second change is giving autonomy and authority to the groups that are dealing with innovation. Expectations and results need to be defined, but the groups need to have the authority to define how they will achieve what defined.
Everyone says that the best way to learn is from mistakes; few really follow this principle when someone is making a mistake. When a new innovation group is set up, mistakes will be followed up quickly. Each time that someone made a mistake, it’s a test for management. If the mistake will be turned into blame, everyone will get the message. Risk-taking is one property of innovation. People won’t take risks if they will know that they will be penalized for mistakes.
Few people like changes! They will fight any force of change, including innovation groups that can transform the organization. This required to change the organization structure to make sure that innovation groups can’t be impacted by the organization immune system.
Last but not least, innovation requires collaboration between different departments or divisions within the company. If the strategic behavior of groups in organizations is more competition than collaboration, it needs to change back to collaboration before starting innovation groups.