Though published in the early 1950s, in Peter Drucker’s The Practice of Management is a statement that still rings true today: “Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs.” Knowing when to embrace change is one of the widespread, compelling issues that confront the mid-to-long term success and sustainability of corporations in the global marketplace. Since 2009, companies still struggle with innovation and a better innovation process is top of the agenda for most CEOs. During this unprecedented period, there has never been a greater opportunity or stronger imperative to prioritize innovation at the forefront of your business.
How does an organization embrace innovation? The following are critical questions that corporations must answer to be set up for mid-to-long term success and sustainability. They include:
- Are you prepared to innovate and maintain a sense of direction over the organization?
- Are leadership development initiatives in place to transform managers into growth leaders with a competency model to track progress?
- Are employees provided the space to develop creative and risky ideas with products/services?
- Currently, are you comfortable with the way people think in your organization?
- Do you value new, original ideas and possibilities?
How does one execute innovation? Platforms like the Board of Innovation and Strategyzer offer a plethora of assessments, solutions, and strategies for cultivating a culture of innovation. A few include think labs for employees, marketing campaigns that engage the thoughts of consumers, practices that assign projects based on strengths, company values and innovation audits and so forth. These all engage three major components of a sustainable form of innovation which include leadership support, organizational design, and practice.
Truly engaging in innovation lies in the hand of leadership to understand that we are in an era where change is the new constant. A continuum of advanced solutions, breakthrough results, and competitive growth will arise when employees are engaged, inspired, and energized.