What is something innovative that you have done

This is how you promote creativity and innovation in the company

The ability to innovate has never been as important as it is today. In a global comparison, Germany lags behind. Germany has to catch up in terms of digitization.

Companies also notice this. Regardless of whether it is an established corporation, small or medium-sized company. Everyone has to find ways and methods to let ideas and innovations arise in the company. But how?

The best idea generators are often their own employees - but the course has to be set in order to get the inventive spirit out of them. In order to release and use this potential, spaces should be created for creativity and innovation.

The right corporate culture is also crucial: only if innovation is promoted and demanded holistically in the company, changes can occur at all.

So the ideas in the employees' heads are definitely there. But whether an employee expresses this depends on the corporate culture. Employees have to feel that something is worth initiating and that they are valued for their commitment.

This blog article therefore gives you impulses on how innovation is promoted in the company on the one hand and how employees can discover their creativity on the other.

1. Confidence and risk taking

The key to a successful culture of ideas and innovation is trust. If there is no trust among the employees, if they have no trust in their supervisor and employer, then they will not express any ideas but do their work according to regulations.

If, however, there is a strong bond, the company is anxious to take its own employees with it and promote personalities who want to initiate and move things, the employee himself will develop an intrinsic motivation and make courageous decisions.

The reverse is also true. The manager and the company have to trust their employees to the extent that the freedom and self-determination granted - in order to be able to develop creatively - are not used.

2. Leadership rules - teamwork and collaboration

Innovation is also a question of attitude. This should also be reflected in the management style of the superiors: A leadership culture also plays an important role in the corporate culture.

While the classic manager is an administrator, planner, controller and perfect organizer of functioning processes and procedures, leaders, on the other hand, are visionaries. This means that it inspires those being led with visions and motivates them to develop their own initiative.

Leadership creates creativity, innovation, meaningfulness and change. And so the necessary freedom for employees to develop, express and implement their ideas and innovative projects.

3. Create space for free thinking

In order for people to work creatively and develop extraordinary ideas, it helps to create an environment that encourages creativity. Workplaces that are only practical and functional do not necessarily encourage creative thinking and exchange.

So create creative zones!

This can be temporal, spatial or local: You can give your employees creative breaks in addition to their daily work in order to work on innovative projects. Workshops - ideally outside of the usual premises - create new perspectives and stimulate thought.

The interior design is also creative, as many startups are showing. In order to give your employees the necessary freedom of thought, creative rooms invite you - equipped with table football, sofa landscapes, high tables - to be inspired and to think outside the box.

4. Without diversity, there is no diversity

The more diverse teams are set up in a company, the more diverse and innovative the output. The reason: The more perspectives, opinions and backgrounds come together, the more friction and, at best, innovative ideas arise. The challenge lies in the corporate culture and the orchestration of teams. Managers have to learn to steer these teams in an agile manner without losing sight of the future. Technology can help to manage teams in a collaborative, agile and digital way and at the same time create the necessary transparency.

5. Flat hierarchies promote intrapreneurship

But in times of digital transformation and new work, companies too have to ask themselves how they want to work in the future. The answer can be very individual, for example, it has to be weighed up which - regardless of whether it is a startup or a traditional company - fit new work models and if so, how and to what extent. More freedom also means increasing responsibility. For employees, this also means becoming aware of their role in the company and driving forward innovative projects on their own responsibility.

6. Fall down, get up, carry on! A healthy error culture inspires

Innovation in companies also depends on a constructive error culture.

Mistakes happen - also on the job.

That doesn't mean that you should make more mistakes from now on. Rather, it is about management promoting the ability to deal constructively with mistakes and anchoring this basic idea in the company culture.

If employees are afraid of losing their job due to a mistake, for example, they will cover up their mistakes. If an open, sanction-free principle is presented by management and management, employees will also have the confidence they need to become more courageous and try more. You will find out through “trial and error” whether a daring idea works. Here there are undreamt-of opportunities to bring about improvements and to let innovations arise.

7. Create visibility for employee ideas

But first of all, ideas need a suitable platform to be perceived in the company. A study by Capgemini found that four out of ten respondents think they don't have the technology to work with their network on innovations in the company.

Modern idea and innovation management software can help here and also offer large, decentralized companies the necessary infrastructure to allow employees to participate more actively and transparently in the innovation process.

8. Develop lots of ideas

Creativity is the prerequisite for innovation. The more ideas that arise, the more worthwhile ones are likely to be among them. Various creative methods such as design thinking, mind mapping or the Osborn checklist are the most common and well-known formats for specifically developing ideas and converting them into innovative projects.

Therefore: Make sure that your employees always meet with open ears with their ideas. And every now and then they give you creative freedom for food for thought. Or you can specifically promote your creative employees with internal ideas competitions, which are endowed with innovation prizes and orchestrated via an idea management platform. All ideas can be bundled on this platform and made transparent to the entire workforce.

9. Select the best ideas

Idea and innovation management quickly generates a lot of ideas. The trick then is to identify the best and most promising ideas from these. When thinking about the crowd, one assumes the wisdom of the many. This means that the employees do the preselection for innovation in the company. The submitted suggestions are evaluated, commented, and if necessary further developed and refined via the idea management platform. The best ideas are then transferred to projects and implemented into new, future-oriented products, services and innovations in the company.

The fact is: many ideas and innovations in companies arise by chance and during daily work. If there is no suitable way of making these ideas transparent and systematically selecting them, valuable potential is wasted. Software manufacturers offer entire programs for bundling and processing creative employee ideas and innovation in the company. Ultimately, the company saves money and should constantly encourage creative employees.