rp_iStock_000005932499success-puzzel-piecel1-300x199-1.jpgYour business is strong. Your team members are productive. You have a large customer base that keeps coming back for more. That’s all you need for continued success, right? Unfortunately, no. While these success factors are important, nothing stays the same for too long in an ever-changing world. Technology is improving at a rapid rate, and new products and services are constantly being added to the marketplace. If your company isn’t inspiring innovation among your employees, you will quickly become outdated. To remain successful, you need to keep pace with change and innovation is essential to do that.

By implementing some leadership team building tips into the workplace, you can inspire innovation among your employees.

Combine existing products and ideas.

Creativity is a buzz word that has all but lost its meaning in today’s work environment. Almost every resume and business list themselves as creative, but in all actuality, most ideas are not new; they are instead a new take on an old idea. For example, the driving service, Uber, is a combination of existing taxi services with social media applications. Instagram is simple photography combined with social media. Lululemon is athletic wear combined with current fashion trends. So while these ideas have done well in the marketplace and are hailed as creative solutions, they are actually more innovative and less creative. So if you want to be successful in implementing new ideas, focus on adding value to existing products or processes, and then focus on adding even more value to create a truly innovative product.

Use slow times to your advantage.

Whether it’s because of a struggling economy or a naturally occurring slow time for your industry or business, there are times that businesses slow down and don’t make as much money as they used to. This isn’t to say that the company is necessarily failing, as ebbs and flows are common in many industries. During these times of lower profitability, many businesses hunker down and only focus on providing the bare minimum to their customers and employees. But this is an ideal time to innovate, as new ideas may be just what the company needs to regain profitability. For example, streamlined production practices and increased product and service offerings may be practical solutions to improve profitability during future downturns. So by taking this time to improve, companies can propel themselves ahead once things pick back up.

Encourage employees to innovate.

A recent Harvard Business Review study recently found that only six in 10 non-managers are actually involved in innovation strategies. When employees don’t feel that their ideas matter, they stop trying and lose interest in their roles, which kills their innovative ideas. To get the most from your employees and to best build your business, create a culture of innovation that encourages employees to be part of the process. In order for employees to innovate, they need to feel empowered and supported to do so. Employees need to understand that part of their job is to come up with innovative solutions that improve their daily work, and they need to feel support from management to do so. They also need to see their ideas implemented. If they come up with ideas but never see them go anywhere, they won’t feel supported and will stop coming up with new ideas.

Sell your story.

An innovative idea backed by supporting data and figures is necessary to get the ball rolling, but it may not be enough to keep it rolling. The best way to sell your idea is to first sell your audience on your story. Get your team members invested in your product or idea by explaining the current environment and the problem with how things currently operate. Then explain how your product or idea will change the environment for the better to get your listeners excited about the prospect of change. When others feel invested in your story, they will be more likely to support your idea or product.

Innovation is not just a fancy buzzword floating around the internet. It is actually an essential component for business success, as an ever-changing marketplace requires companies to consistently provide innovative ideas, products or services to keep up. By implementing some leadership team building tips, leaders can inspire innovation in the workplace and keep up with changing times. Some strategies include: combining existing products and ideas to create innovative solutions; using slow times to your advantage to make necessary changes; encouraging employees to be innovative in their positions; and selling your story, rather than just your product to get people excited about the change.

Here are some additional reading resources to flush out more detail.

  • The Trait That’s Far More Important Than Creativity
  • Innovate During Tough Times 
  • Employees Don’t Innovate, According to This Global Survey. And How Your Company Can Change That
  • Why Successful Innovators are Also Great Storytellers
  • Training: How to Build Cross Functional Teams To Solve Company Problems the Successful Way

Copyright TIGERS Success Series, Inc. by Dianne Crampton

licensingAbout TIGERS Success Series, Inc.

TIGERS Success Series is a Bend, Oregon Consultancy offering a comprehensive work culture and change management system for internal and external consultants that builds positive workforce behaviors resonating with trust, interdependence, genuineness, empathy, risk and success in the workplace.  People quit companies because they don’t get along with leaders and co-workers. Work culture refinement and behaviors that build strong relationships reverse this trend remarkably fast.  For more information call 1+541-385-7465.