Is your company nimble, adaptable and innovative? Does it quickly capitalize on new trends and technologies, often with leading-edge products? Or is it slow to change, and often resistant to new ideas? Despite the lip service many companies pay to the concept of innovation, many continue to throw up organizational roadblocks that discourage creativity. If any or all of these five challenges feel familiar, it might be time for a creativity overhaul.
In my blog last week, I made the point that innovation is a learned process that we can all integrate into our lives to build a daily habit. Too often, innovation is seen as a final product or result, not an ongoing process.
Innovation has been innovated.
As the concept and topic of innovation has increased in popularity over the last decade, the world has seen many novel and imaginative new ideas emerge about how to create, harness, encourage and source innovation. Having spent my professional life researching, investigating and practicing creative problem solving techniques, it’s a development I find deeply encouraging.
Promotions, raises, pats on the back and even just the regular paycheck are among the ways organizations show their employees that they are valued and their contributions are recognized.
But it’s not that uncommon for organizational rewards to be out of sync with the behaviors employees are told are valued. And when there’s a conflict between a company’s words and its rewards, want to guess what speaks most loudly to staff?
A Chinese proverb warns us to be careful of our habits, for they shall become our character. It’s a concept that I think captures the importance of routine in developing us into the people we become. If we habitually condition ourselves to reject the untried, the unknown or the unusual, we are doomed to action that is likely to be safe, predictable and reliable, but unlikely to be inventive or innovative.