I believe that while creativity is something that is intrinsic to all humans and can be triggered off in a variety of ways, innovation requires that companies consciously create conditions where strategic and organizational issues are creatively resolved through the involvement of people. In my opinion, there are three essential conditions that can stimulate innovation in organizations. They are:
a) A culture that empowers people.
b) Recognition for innovative thinking.
c) Prevalence of outstanding leadership.
Too often, however, companies are unable to elicit the involvement of their people because there has been no conscious effort to share the ‘larger picture’ with everybody. Commitment, which most industrial leaders claim is lacking amongst today’s employees, is directly related to the extent of sharing information and to the extent of trust that is created thereby.
A formal system of recognition and public encouragement for innovative thinking, goes a long way in communicating what the company expects from its members.
Organizations that demonstrate high levels of innovation are those that share belief that things can always be made better than they are today.
Normally in organizations, services and in production, the person who is not that creative but is a team man is a better person than the other. Of course if you have a very creative person who is also a team man, you get the best of both the worlds!
To us, innovation is at the heart of what it takes corporations to create and sustain leadership. It has far more to do with continually challenging the status – quo and pushing for corporate self renewal, than it has to do with creativity and ingenuity.
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