Innovation is everywhere and very much part of everything we do.  Everyday we hear of new innovations from a new start-up or from the latest technologies.  To survive in the current economy where disruption is the new norm, companies need to think of different approaches and out-of-the-box solutions.  That also means we need to be adaptable, agile and resilient at the same time.  Innovation will only come if we embrace change.  Here are some tips to help your company encourage innovation.

1.         Create a culture of experiment
Create an environment for innovation by giving the team the ability to fail.  Innovation happens when there is a culture that allows new ideas to fail.  When mistakes are made, learn from the process and this leads people to be more creative and thus more innovative.

2.         Don’t punish small mistakes
One of the quickest ways to kill creativity is to create a culture where any wrong decision will be penalized.  Management should understand that some risks just doesn’t work out and employees should not fear taking some risks.

3.         Create a forum for ideas and celebrate creativity
Allow employees to share their ideas through an open channel or a virtual idea box which is easily accessible.  Ideas submitted will be reviewed and feedback provided.  Innovative contributions from employees should be acknowledged and recognized.

4.         Focus on skills instead of products
A successful company knows that they are more than just their products and services.  Instead of defining the company by their products, focus on the assets and strategic skills and build these into the core competencies. 

5.         Maximize the current team
Sometimes, all it needs to get innovation going is to just shake things up slightly – not by hiring a new person but simply getting the employees to think outside the box by assigning them new and exciting projects outside the scope of their daily activities.  This gives them a change to unlearn what they already know and forces them to learn new things.

6.         Focus on customers
​Many times, we focus on the products or services that we want to sell to customers that we lose the focus on what the customer needs.  The more time we spend in putting ourselves in the customers’ shoes, the more we identify new opportunities.  Innovation comes from always thinking about how to meet the customers’ needs and making their lives better.