Fostering Innovative Practices

While recruiting and hiring are important components of bringing in top talent and new ideas, is it also important to focus on learning, development, and training.  Strategy sessions with leadership and executives for future innovation planning is vital to drive business forward.

More than 70% of the senior executives in a survey conducted by McKinsey stated that innovation will be at least one of the top three drivers of growth for their companies in next three to five years. If you aren’t innovating and iterating, your competitors will. Training and leadership development falls into the hands of HR/People Teams, so as you look to develop your employees, also consider leadership training, as this is who the rest of the organization will look to for guidance. Having innovation ingrained in your company’s culture will foster creativity and improve business outcomes.

A McKinsey Quarterly, said, “Leading companies for innovation make innovation a formal agenda item at regular leadership meetings. That signals to employees the value management attaches to innovation.” As HR takes on a bigger role in the prosperity of a company, it’s important to look at the organization as a unit and decide what your core values are and how innovation will help those.

Here are 4 ways to help you design a leadership training program that focuses on innovation:

Teach Leaders to Foster Creativity within their Teams- Train the Trainer. Leaders- whether the executives at your company or departmental leads – need to train their teams and encourage them to rise up. Provide your leadership and managers with tools to help foster creativity within their teams. From specific budgets, performance tracking tools, or ideas for team offsites- encouraging collaboration will lead to innovation. You never know who might come up with the next iteration of your product that will lead to success.

Create an Innovation Hub- There are countless creative ideas and innovators across your organization, but there isn’t always a place for those individuals to shine. Working with leadership, create an initiative for an innovation hub. Allow employees, with support and enthusiasm from leadership, to present their idea and projects. By sharing ideas and discussing what all functions of the business, new thoughts can be sparked.

Include Innovation as a Key Competency for Leaders- Just as performance metrics and target goals are established for departments, teams and individual employees, consider setting some key competencies for leaders in your organization. Whether it’s their own innovation or inspiring others to iterate, create, and question current processes, have leadership be accountable for innovation at the company.

Define and Promote Organizational Values Related to Innovation- Performance metrics and targets for innovation can help you clearly accomplish your goals or key objectives for the quarter or year. Leaders should think about financial and behavioral metrics and how innovation can drive these numbers. Additionally, set targets for departments- innovation and creativity will naturally occur as individuals seek to accomplish these goals and help the business with the greater picture.

Just as your organization wasn’t built overnight, innovation won’t happen with the snap of your fingers. Take time to thoughtfully implement these practices and brainstorm with leadership on your business goals. Once you identify your targets, you can then set objectives and indicators of where you want to focus your attention.

Innovation drives business. Train your leaders to encourage creativity and new ideas.

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