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How to put staff in innovation mode

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Cal Butera

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in Leaders & Managers,People Management

If you haven’t been charged with shaking innovation out of your staff, you may soon be.

A new report produced by the Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network titled Innovation: The New Competitive Equation, found that eight out of 10 executives now declare their companies’ commitment to innovation as “very high” or “growing.”

What’s more, BPI reports that these companies are stripping away the barriers to harness the best ideas from customers, partners, R&D teams, external technologies and literally every member of staff. This means that many execs are relying on bottom-up innovation.

Here’s what managers can do to help spur innovation:

  • Give employees the freedom to fail. “Concerns about failure” is ranked by more executives in the survey (42%) as the single greatest obstacle to the kind of game-changing innovation now required for growth.
  • Emphasize cross-functional collaboration between teams, while also calling for the elimination of turf boundaries and silos.
  • Stop doing what’s not working. Too often stale ideas and groupthink put the team at a dead end. Managers need to step in and kill procedures that are no longer fruitful. The learned experience seeds the success of future initiatives.

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