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9 Practical Ways You Can Build a Culture of Innovation

[et_pb_section bb_built=”1″ background_color=”rgba(0,0,0,0.76)” fullwidth=”on” _builder_version=”3.0.77″ custom_margin=”||-30px|” custom_padding=”0px|0px|0px|0px”][et_pb_fullwidth_post_title categories=”off” comments=”off” featured_placement=”background” text_color=”light” module_class=”insight-header” _builder_version=”3.0.77″ title_font_size=”60px” title_line_height=”1.2em” meta_font_size=”19px” meta_line_height=”2em” background_color=”rgba(0,0,0,0.55)” background_blend=”multiply” custom_margin=”|||” custom_padding=”|200px||” custom_css_before=”h1.entry-title {text-transform: capitalize;}” custom_css_main_element=”h1.entry-title {text-transform: capitalize;}” custom_css_after=”h1.entry-title {text-transform: capitalize;}” /][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section bb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”3.0.47″ custom_padding=”0px|0px|54px|0px”][et_pb_row custom_padding=”30px|0px|27px|0px” _builder_version=”3.0.47″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” _i=”0″ _address=”1.0″][et_pb_column type=”3_4″][et_pb_code _builder_version=”3.0.77″ /][et_pb_text] We are all striving to build a culture of innovation in our organisations. But what are the ingredients? Try these. Permission. We have to be able to give our staff permission – to try new things, to get on with the job.. but most importantly, we need to give ourselves permission. We need to allow ourselves the joy of taking half a day off – to think! To take time out from meetings and emails to think about the strategic, the innovative, the different, the inspiring. Let’s give our staff permission – but let’s also start with ourselves! Time. We create these “back-to-back” meetings for ourselves. Yes, we create them. We need to give ourselves and our team time – to work on something different – even for a few hours a week. To network. To visit customers (remember customers?). To read. To collaborate. To sit and think. One thing is for certain – no time, no innovation. Period. Failure. Really. We all need to fail. And we need to allow our staff to fail. The reality is that we all fail all of the time. It’s just that we bury the failures, so no one knows about them. So let’s champion failure. Let’s make people aware that they can try new things – and some, in a safe environment, may fail. But that’s OK. They get full marks for trying! Personal Space. Everyone needs some personal space. Away from it all. Time off. Time off emotionally as well as physically. Just time having coffee with a friend, a mentor, a colleague. Some space sitting in a room on their own. Some time to contemplate life. Environment. Easy. Get some cans of paint. Get some bits and pieces. Make the office a fun space. Most offices are boring, boring and boring. For little bit of money, make the place where you and your team spend most of their daytime, fun. Get some outdoor furniture, paint it fluorescent yellow, and place it INDOORS! Go to a funky furniture store and buy some. Bring stuff in from home. Encourage everyone to create something different in the office – no matter how makeshift it is. And don’t cut back on the biscuits!!!!! Some small cost items of food go a long way to making people feel loved. Change the environment – you will be astonished!!!!! It’s amazing how creating spaces contributes to ideas colliding and innovation. Sharing. Encourage sharing of everything. Of ideas. Of articles. Of websites. Of contacts. Sharing sparks new ideas. Don’t let people feel that holding onto ideas gives them power. Quite the opposite. The more you share, the more power you have. Empowerment. Empower people to get on with the job. Don’t micro-manage them. Set shared goals, make them accountable, and set them free. You will be astonished at the results. The MVP – Build, Measure and Learn. You should be a fan of The Lean Startup movement. Create a culture of building something small – a minimal viable product (MVP) – testing it out, measuring the results, and learning from them. Get out of the Building. A mantra from the Lean Startup. But it’s true. Don’t sit in the office! Get out and talk to customers! Go talk to partners. Try out your latest innovation as an MVP. Whatever – just don’t sit in the office! Still reading this? Ok. Great. Now get on and make the changes to implement what you just read. Now. Get out of the Building and do it. 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