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9 Ways Your Company Can Encourage Innovation

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https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/318584

entrepreneur.com

9 Ways Your Company Can Encourage Innovation
5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Today, innovation is all around us. From exciting new technologies to new startup business models, the very idea of innovation is taking off just as fast as the businesses that embrace it. In the U.S.

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Innovation in business

The idea of innovation is taking off just as fast as the businesses that embrace it.

But, not all companies are prepared to push innovation within their organizations. Changing workplace s...

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Intrapreneurship

An intrapreneur can be defined as someone who thinks like an entrepreneur but brings their ideas to the company where they are employed instead of launching their own business. 

I...

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McKnight’s 15-percent-time rule

This allows employees to spend 15 % of their paid work time daydreaming, doodling or experimenting with ideas that don’t necessarily have to do with their work at the company.

This kin...

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Reward experimentation - even failure

Beyond just giving your employees time to experiment, you should also reward innovative habits. 

Nothing kills creativity faster than the fear of failure, so celebrate the success...

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Encourage research

Encourage your team to do their own research as well. 

Let your employees’ personal interests and passions do the leading as they look into new technologies, reading articles and ...

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Employee forums

Whether it’s a weekly all-staff meeting or a company bulletin, foster a space where employees can meet across teams to discuss and present their research, experimentation or intrapreneurial idea...

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Shake things up

Get your employees to think outside the box by assigning them new and exciting projects outside the scope of their daily activities.

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Don’t put yourself in a box

Don’t put yourself in a box

Successfully innovative companies know that they are more than just their products and services.

Instead of only defining your company by what it sells, identify your assets and strate...

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Utilize vacation time

Studies show that certain activities that foster a truly unplugged environment, such as hiking in nature, can actually boost creativity by up to 50 %.

Encourage your employees to use a...

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Be a progressive leader

Innovation starts at the top -- leaders should be role models for workplace passion, positive outlook, clear direction and vision, and of course, embracing change.

Start small, with an...

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The Originality Myth

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Benefits of a learning culture

During the last recession, companies that invested in their employees, in part by providing the training they needed to move forward in their careers, enjoyed profit gains of 26 percent, compared t...

When hiring, screen for learners

  • Ask about passion projects. Learners tend to pursue something else outside work (training for a marathon, playing with a band, etc.)
  • Focus on curiosity as much as hard skills. Bring up problems currently facing the team and see how the candidate responds.
  • One of the most important things to a learning mindset is the ability to admit you don't know something. So be aware of how they approach the things they don't understand.

Learning as a company policy

This means explicitly defining ongoing learning as a core company value.

Empowering employees can mean providing the time or money to enable learning - in other words, offering learning opportunities as a job benefit like health insurance. 

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Stepping outside the comfort zone

To take smart risks, you need to get comfortable with being a little uncomfortable.

Leaders that learn to embrace choices outside their comfort zones are able to push the envelope in w...

Take an improv class

Every time you take a risk in your business, you face the possibility of failure.

Improv, a theatrical exercise where you improvise a scene with a group of people, essentially mirrors that experience. You have to get used to change fast.

Switch places with the receptionist

If you work behind a closed door, this will be a great exercise for stepping outside your safety zone.

You might have a less productive week, but seeing your workplace from a different perspective will foster an open mind and encourage collaboration.

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