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Tips for Encouraging Innovation

It is easy, but dangerous, to maintain the status-quo in business. Though it takes less work to continue doing business as usual, you’re at risk of losing out on market opportunities and being swallowed up by the competition. Today’s digital age demands innovation, and agility to respond quickly to market changes. Technological advances and online disruptors open up the marketplace to a world of opportunity, and even if you don’t change, the market will.

Businesses have access to virtually everything at their fingertips, and to stay afloat, you’ll likely need to constantly assess your operations, update your services and product offerings, increase accessibility, and change your marketing strategy. Innovation takes active work, so how do you create a culture that inspires greater innovation.? In today’s blog, we’ll explore a few important concepts.

Welcome Diversity

A diverse team is conducive to innovation according to Nick Herrild, Brand President at Waxing the City. Diversity in this sense brings more to the table than just satisfying a social quota: when your team has varying professional and personal experience, you’re more likely to end up with different ideas. Herrild also advises that when you’re looking to innovate, don’t make rules. Let your team come up with their ideas and give them your full attention, even if it puts you outside your comfort zone.

Ask the Right Questions

We’ve already alluded to the challenges of innovation. One of the fundamental reasons why innovation frequently comes to a halt is a team stuck in a routine. To break free of that, ask the right questions during a brainstorming session. For example, asking “Why are we doing this?” will get your team’s reasoning behind their process and why it is important. Kelley Weaver, CEO of Melrose PR, says this simple question can help to refocus the conversation on ideas that address your problem and lead to more creative solutions. A good question may be enough to stir up some creativity and give your staff the needed push to bring about your company’s next big idea.

Exercise Compassion

While always maintaining professionalism with your employees, building a more familial relationship with them will convey that you genuinely care for and respect who they are as beyond their role in the company. When employees feel valued and heard as trusted individuals, a myriad of benefits ensue. They’ll feel empowered to share their ideas on operational performance, new products, and service improvements, and they’ll do so willingly and openly, not just when asked.

Disruptive innovation that challenges the status quo should be part of your company’s DNA to remain resilient and thrive as a business. Foster a culture that encourages an open exchange, where everyone is expected to contribute and can expect to be heard. And remember welcome constructive dissent among your team and view it as a catalyst for new ideas and innovation.

This blog was originally published on Tim Noonan's website.

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