Innovation. Welcome to the new way of working. Some obvious and some not so obvious elements for extraordinary success.
By Laura Gramling, President, EnSpark Consulting
You see things; and you say, “Why?” But I dream things that never were; and I say, “Why not? —
George Bernard Shaw
When you think of inventors, you might picture Thomas Edison, George Washington Carver, Alexander Graham Bell and so on.
When you think of innovative companies, you probably envision Apple, Tesla, Google, Airbnb and so on.
From a spark of an idea to the moment of “eureka”, what supports innovation?
Innovative organizations that consistency generate the next best thing focus on the connections between a clear vision, harnessing diversity, mastering design thinking and creating positive work cultures. Extraordinary organizations manage these elements fluidly with feedback and experimentation as the norm. Innovating how they work as they work on innovations.
Leadership is not about a title or a designation. It’s about impact, influence and inspiration. Impact involves getting results, influence is about spreading the passion you have for your work, and you have to inspire team-mates and customers. — Robin Sharma, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari
Diversity of people engaged. Creating an environment with diversity of thought, creativity, disciplines, and lived experiences is central to innovation. Successful organizations facilitate processes for all voices to contribute and allow creative tensions and polarities to be additive, not distractions.
Diversity needs to be at all levels and across the organization. In the realm of innovation, there is no one discipline, world-view or organizing principle. Extraordinary organizations have diverse staff and figure out ways to bring out everyone’s best efforts.
Organizations become known for attracting great talent by focusing on how work is done, creating high-trust cultures and acknowledging and rewarding the contributions of their staff. Want the best innovating at your organization? Pay attention to diversity.
Inserting play. Or more accurately, time and space for non-linear brain processes to occur. Engaging in activities that promote feelings of happiness or calm are a central element to being more innovative. When our brains get quiet, new discoveries via new neural networks occur; this is the genesis of “eureka” moments.
Organizations that promote opportunities to disconnect from work are, in essence, creating conditions for high-performance to emerge. Walking paths, meditation rooms, gym spaces, game rooms were once seen as nice perks. Now there is evidence that utilization of these spaces are direct contributors to organizational and personal success.
Leading is about focusing on the right things. Creating innovative organizations takes vision, rigor, flexibility, and trust. Somewhat paradoxical yet essential elements for extraordinary success.
Connect with EnSpark Consulting to spark your innovation vision.
Quick reads and food for thought
Is Diversity Good for Business?
Design Thinking as a Strategy for Innovation
Neuroleadership Lessons: The Science Behind Creative Problem Solving and Making Better Decisions
Howard Gardner’s Five Minds of the Future
Collaboration Is the New Competitive Advantage