You want to create a new direction for your company and make innovation a top priority. However to make this new strategy work it’s the people within an organization must first transform their communication, relationships, thinking and focus.
To achieve this I suggest 3 steps to generate “Innovation from the inside”
1. Improve communication and relationships to challenge existing ways of thinking
2. Develop a vision for the future and design breakthrough projects to achieve the vision
3. Create dynamic networks inside your organization that focus on driving results
1. Every team consists of a Coach and Players –with their actions on the field determining whether the game is won or lost. However many people become Journalists and Spectators –sitting in the stands giving opinions, judgements, explanations, telling stories, writing reports or spreading rumours. Since Journalist and Spectator perceptions are rooted in the past they stifle innovation, creativity and change. If you have too many in your organization you cannot begin to realise your new strategy. To provide the catalyst for change try hosting town-hall style meetings focused on putting the new direction into context. Then smaller workshops that highlight Journalist and Spectator behaviours and the resulting low-performance it delivers. By challenging existing ways of thinking and improving communication people can then open up to new possibilities.
2. Work with your teams to develop a new vision for the future –then facilitate open communication to create alignment and shared understanding of this vision. Build momentum by developing a list of breakthrough sprint-projects. These short-term projects could be improving a process, adding a new partnership, building new technology or sales/marketing capabilities. These action-orientated projects will help refocus everyone on the game and beating the competition.
3. After choosing your sprint-projects develop a rough plan, outline milestones, align resource networks and determine what learning is required to be effective. Remember keep it simple and remove complexity. While every team needs a structure and game plan, too much control limits innovation, restricts ideas and blocks creativity. Space with empowerment allows self-organization to flourish and employees to take action themselves and drive the new strategy forward.
When companies let employees contribute to the vision, facilitate open communication and challenge established norms, they will volunteer for projects and self-organize into dynamic networks. With employees championing new ideas, driving change, and spreading your new innovation culture across your organization imagine what you could achieve.