According to the PwC’s Global CEO Pulse Survey on Innovation, 57% of CEO respondents said that having the right culture to foster and support innovation is the most important ingredient for successful innovation at a company. Truly innovative CEOs recognize that innovation doesn’t only happen in their research and development (R&D) departments but throughout the whole company.
The key to creating the right culture for innovation is to have a holistic and humanistic approach in leading your employees and having this approach trickle down from your executive team to the rest of the organization.
Applying the following leadership strategies can cultivate a positive and supportive organizational culture, making it possible to foster innovation.
1. Recognize human potential. Leading your organization means you may not have time to interact with every employee, which can make it easy to overlook the incredible human potential available to help your company be more innovative. Beliefs are powerful, and allowing yourself to embrace the belief that people have potential will elevate how you interact with them. When you approach every employee interaction with this belief, it builds their confidence to leverage every moment for greatness and share ideas and contributions they would not have normally shared.
2. Shift mindsets and behavior. By recognizing and activating potential in others, leaders make emotional shifts to permanently change mindsets and behaviors at work and at home. This shift promotes a safe environment for creativity. Remember that people truly want to make a difference. They want to be great at what they do. Communicate to your company that they work in an environment that safely allows them to fulfill that desire and inspire them to make their ideas a reality.
3. Embrace challenges. Challenges are a natural part of growth and progress, particularly when it comes to innovation. Leading while also fostering innovation won’t be easy—but avoiding tough situations that need to be addressed and sweeping them under the rug is sure to backfire. Meet with your executive team and discuss challenges with a focus on moving forward. Encourage them to use this approach and empower their team members to discover and own solutions. This will create a cultural norm to deliver exceptional results with agility.
Use these tips to create an inspiring place to work. Promote a highly creative and supportive company culture that allows your employees to achieve remarkable results by increasing innovation and productivity in a demanding global business climate. Applying these three principles can result in a company-wide culture of continuous innovation.