Some teams have brilliant programmers. Other teams have excellent marketers. Still others have team members with an exceptional breadth and depth of experience. All of these interesting balances and mixes of skills, talent and drive. Some lead to innovation, others don’t. The question is why?
Why is it that so many companies have talented individuals and the company lags behind in innovation?
Leadership is often a listed a key component. That’s very true. Teams and ideas flounder without solid leadership. In addition to leadership, I think there needs to be underlying mechanisms that support creativity. There’s a need for structures to be in place to support the mixing and mashing of ideas, experiences, skills and opportunities.
You can have all of the ingredients of the salad but no bowl to put the salad in. Without a bowl, you have no salad.
What are some structures needed to have innovation?
Innovation is as much about talent as it is about how the culture of the business supports employees’ creativity and curiosity.
I recently gave a presentation on mentoring and how to create a mentoring program for your company. One of the participants asked how he could convince management about the importance of having a mentoring program. In a nutshell, this was my answer to him:
Begin with the basics. If management needs to be convinced that a mentoring program is needed, then you need to have another kind of conversation first. The conversation you should be having with management is how they view employees. If management sees employees as disposable that mentality needs to be addressed first. If management doesn’t see the purpose of investing in employees’ professional development, then that dialogue needs to happen before any mention of the creation of a mentoring program.
Whether looking to expand employee benefits, creating a mentoring program, fostering innovation, all of the fun and exciting things that workplaces say they want to do, start looking at the things that prevent these conversations. Start addressing conflict, poor communication, workplace bullying, inappropriate tools, uncomfortable furniture and weak leadership. Once there’s a solid foundation in place, then you find yourself with more energy, time and engagement from your coworkers to build a thriving workplace.
Allo there ~ I'm Renée and this is my blog on leadership and business development. Here I explore the nexus between leadership, conflict resolution, networks, innovation and prosperity.