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An Introduction to ProInnovation

An Introduction to ProInnovation
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Innovate

ˈɪnəveɪt/

verb

make changes in something established, especially by introducing new methods, ideas, or products.

THE ISSUE

As companies and organizations move forward to pioneer their craft and specialities, finding ways to push goals and expectations further is at the heart of company growth. In order to do so, businesses must be constantly innovating to keep their focus clear and relevant to their consumers. However, innovation isn’t the easiest thing to achieve and it’s an issue striking many businesses as they attempt to consistently do better.

According to the 2014 Deloitte Business Confidence Report, “In today’s rapidly changing business environment, there is no doubt that innovation is a key factor in business growth. Yet, America’s top leaders seem to have trouble moving beyond the buzzword and are split on how to foster innovation.” Leading innovation is not the same thing as coming up with creative ideas, it goes much more beyond that. Innovation requires intense planning and an execution plan that leads to ultimate success even when ideas and methods fail. Innovation requires recognition of mistakes, and the ability to learn from errors to better move your company forward.

In order to foster innovation throughout your company, rather than just within the people making decisions, your leadership team should provide a “role-model for creativity and innovation; demonstrating learning agility and using the skills of networking, coaching and facilitation to foster creativity and innovation and to empower and inspire their workforce” according to a whitepaper published by 10Eighty UK.

THE SOLUTION

Nearly everyone who took part in CCL’s 500-person client panel said innovation is a key driver of success (94%), and 77% of their organizations have made attempts to improve innovation. However, only 14% are confident about their organization’s ability to drive innovation effectively. Where is this disconnect?

Finding ways to constantly encourage innovation within your organization is what keeps that kind of spirit alive within employees. In fact, Google has a program in which engineers are actively encouraged to spend 20% of their work week on projects that interest them. This has helped tap into unseen talents in various employees, while also allowing employees to work on passion projects that they may not have the time to pursue outside of work. This level of organizational involvement boosts both creativity and innovation while also boosting overall employee morale and engagement.

In her article, The Importance of Creativity and Innovation in Business, Program Manager Siyana Sokolova says, “Creativity goes hand in hand with innovation. And there is no innovation without creativity. While creativity is the ability to produce new and unique ideas, innovation is the implementation of that creativity – that’s the introduction of a new idea, solution, process, or product. Creativity is the driving force behind innovation and the incorporation of looking at things from a different perspective and freedom of restrictions by rules and written or unwritten norms.”

As businesses move forward and continue to drive innovation, they must also remember the active role that their employees play in that constant desire to do better. With employees and businesses alike moving towards creative thinking and ever changing ideas, giving time to new ideas and thoughts will encourage innovation and growth within all areas of your business.

Stats On the Importance of Innovation within the Workplace:

  • “More than 70 percent of the senior executives in a survey we recently conducted say that innovation will be at least one of the top three drivers of growth for their companies in the next three to five years” “On the contrary, senior executives almost unanimously—94 percent—say that people and corporate culture are the most important drivers of innovation.” “According to 19 percent of the senior executives, neither growth nor innovation is part of the strategic-planning process, which focuses solely on budgeting and forecasting. Just under half indicated that innovation is integrated into the process informally. Only 27 percent said that innovation is fully integrated into it. But these executives feel more confident about their decisions on innovation and say that they have implemented ways to protect it and to ensure that it gets the right talent.” (Source)
  • 75% of people think they are not living up to their creative potential.
    • Google currently has a program that serves to foster innovation in-house called the 20% project. It allows engineers to spend 20% of their work week on projects that interest them to help tap into the many talents of its employees and give them an opportunity to consistently work on a personal passion—which is great for internal innovation and morale. (Source)
  • More than 70 percent of the senior executives in a survey we recently conducted say that innovation will be at least one of the top three drivers of growth for their companies in the next three to five years.  (Source)
  • Leadership behavior contributes from 20% to 67% of the climate for creativity in organizations, according to research from creativity researcher Goran Ekvall (personal communication with one of the authors). (Source)