Innovation seems to be the word of the moment. After the changes ushered in by the coronavirus pandemic, organizations across all industries are focusing on ways to foster and leverage innovation. Here’s how small businesses can hop on this trend.
Foster Freedom and Collaboration
If you take it solely upon yourself as a business owner to innovate, chances are that you won’t get too far. Innovation is a team sport. The good news is that you already have a team, so you just have to create the right conditions for innovation to flourish. Give your employees the freedom to explore and ask questions. Add a collaborative environment to the mix, and let the ideas pour in.
While from the outside it may look that innovation comes down to a single “Eureka!” moment, the truth is that innovative ideas are the result of a slow distillation of materials that include personal experiences, but also study of the matter at hand. Keep learning about your industry and encourage your team to do the same. Knowledge is the fuel that keeps the creativity engine running.
The consulting firm McKinsey has identified eight factors essential to innovation. This framework reflects the needs and scope of the large corporations that McKinsey serves. However, small businesses can take some pages from this playbook to implement innovation at a smaller scale. McKinsey advises its clients to “mobilize” their workforce toward innovation. This means rewarding, supporting, and encouraging innovative behavior. Some measures you may consider include:
- Simplify procedures: cut red tape.
- Model innovative behaviors: lead by example.
- Don’t fear failure: accept that it’s often part of the innovation process.
- Choose an office layout that facilitates innovation and cross-collaboration between teams.
More Tips and Ideas
At the ONE Inland Empire Chamber of Commerce, we are always looking for ideas that help foster the growth of your business. Here are some previous posts to help you do just that:
- How to use social media to advance your career
- Cybersecurity basics for small businesses
- 3 Simple ways to protect yourself against identity theft
- Common grammar mistakes to avoid in your business emails
Interested in learning more about the ONE Inland Empire Chamber of Commerce? Contact us today by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), telephone (951-280-3902), or social media. We look forward to hearing from you!