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Fostering A Culture Of Innovation

Innovation Pays

The National Rural Award for Innovation was given for a project, which slashed telecommunications costs for businesses and local council in Coorong, VIC by 50%. What brings about that kind of innovation? How can those drivers be replicated? It made us consider what kind of culture would foster an innovative environment...

Our experience is that a crisis or a substantial change in environment is needed to bring about an innovative culture.

For an idea to be innovative, it needs to be creative and implemented. So, how do you foster a Culture of Innovation? The following is a well-tried formula:

b1.gif (814 bytes) Listen to customers and staff for ideas; watch you competitors. Identify the business reasons to generate a culture of innovation and develop an ROI model around your investment. (Toyota)
b1.gif (814 bytes) Allow for and expect mistakes. Edison said it took him 6000 steps to invent the light bulb. He did not see each experiment as a mistake but necessary steps to a bright idea. (Microsoft)
b1.gif (814 bytes) Make innovation an inclusive, questioning and dynamic process, where everyone is invited to contribute ideas. At 3M, employees spend 15% of their time thinking about and developing new products.
b1.gif (814 bytes) Use tested methods for generating ideas – using different "thinking hats", tower of ideas, reversal, & provocation, to name a few. Brainstorming is not the only path to enlightenment. (BOC Gases)
b1.gif (814 bytes) Develop a process of generating, evaluating and commercialising ideas suited to your culture. Knowledge management is a crucial component to capturing and developing ideas. (3M)
b1.gif (814 bytes) Implement measures around ideas generation, commercialisation and on capturing costs and benefits. A key measure at 3M is % of revenue from products and services that are less than 24 months old.
b1.gif (814 bytes) You lead the development of ideas. Unless the senior leadership is walking the talk, innovation will be just the next fad. (Microsoft)
b1.gif (814 bytes) Good ideas need to be rewarded to keep them coming. Part of the innovative process is a system that rewards ideas and provides a real stake in their success, eg. a share in the profits generated from the idea. (Mobil Oil)
b1.gif (814 bytes) Praise and promote innovations and innovators. Nothing sends a more powerful signal that you are serious. (Apple Computers)

What is your company culture like? If you are interested, click on this link to take EMD's innovation test, which will help diagnose your Culture of Innovation.

"Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration" (Edison).

What Next?

If you are interested in more information please give us a call on +61 412 026 909 and ask to speak to one of our consultants. 

Alternatively e-mail us at info@emdgroup.com.au or use the form on our Contact Us page.

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