Great Business Ideas: Innovation culture

Great Small Business Ideas to Start: Innovation culture

Encouraging people in your organization to see things differently attracts the best employees and increases the distinctiveness and value of your business.

The idea

A British innovation company, ?What If!, shows clients how to make their organizations more innovative. Their processes challenge people to see things differently by stepping out of their comfort zones and risking ideas that may seem to make little sense.

Two key, but separate, processes are needed for innovation:

  • Idea building, where people propose ideas and then develop and nurture them.
  • Idea analysis, where these ideas are assessed.

Companies that struggle to be innovative often do so because ideas get stifled in their infancy by an excessive rush to judgment and analysis.

Having the right kind of processes for idea generation and innovation is important, but processes are not enough. Innovative organizations also have a general environment and culture that values and fosters innovation.

In practice

Research by the Talent Foundation identified five catalysts for successful innovation:

  1. Consciousness. Each person knows the goals of the organization and believes they can play a part in achieving them.
  2. Multiplicity. Teams and groups contain a wide and creative mix of skills, experiences, backgrounds, and ideas.
  3. Connectivity. Relationships are strong and trusting, and are actively encouraged and supported within and across teams and functions.
  4. Accessibility. Doors and minds are open; everyone in the organization has access to resources, time, and decision makers.
  5. Consistency. Commitment to innovation runs throughout the organization and is built into processes and leadership style.
READ:  Great Business Ideas: Scenario planning