You know innovation is important, but are you doing enough
to help your team innovate?
Let’s take a look at seven tips that will help you foster innovation.
A 2013 survey conducted by
Accenture found that
only 20% of respondents felt
that their company supported
employees who wanted to try
something new. Even more
discouraging, only 12% felt
tolerance from management
if a new idea failed.
An environment like that is
not one that encourages new
and innovative thinking.
So how do you set up a
process that helps your team
Develop a Plan.
Don’t just launch headlong into a new project without first considering
what your goal is and how you want to get there.
If you end up straying from your plan—and you probably will—that’s okay!
Developing a plan gives you a starting place. Without
doing that, you’ll waste time at the beginning of
your project figuring out what you’re doing.
Also, having a clearly stated plan allows you
to provide transparency to everyone involved
in the project. If people
understand how your project
is being run, they are more
likely to feel engaged and
Focus on Your Customers.
Ask yourself what your team does to serve your customers. Your
answer shouldn’t just be “we make widgets.”
Staying focused on your customers and how you can serve them better should be a catalyst
What problem do your widgets solve for your customers?
Does your team have the skills to solve that problem in a better or new way?
Can your team apply its skills to solve related problems for your customers?
Failure isn’t something you’re typically told to seek out in the business
world, but if you want to develop new ideas and processes you will
experience failures along the way.
Learn from your failures and show your team that
failure isn’t always a bad thing.
Instead of only praising members of your team
that experience success, show appreciation
and praise for team members who developed
innovative and new ideas. Reward
effort and new ideas—not just results.
To turn a group of people into a
business, there needs to be some
kind of organization.
Your business is probably broken up into
different departments and teams. Without this,
it’d be hard to get everyone coordinated
and on the same page.
While getting stuck in silos would be easy,
you have a lot to gain by looking for
opportunities for partnership outside of the
groups you typically may work with. Fresh
working connections can often lead to
fresh ideas. Seek out collaboration
opportunities with other teams and
departments to innovate. Working with other
teams may result in helping both sides think
about ideas in new, innovative ideas.
You shouldn’t place too much value on reaching a consensus because
the answer that pleases everyone often takes longer to get to—and
more importantly—probably isn’t taking any chances.
If you want to truly innovate and come up with a new idea, it’s likely that there will be people
on your team who disagree with part of what you are doing.
Although it takes longer, consensus seeking can be more comfortable because you can try to
make everyone happy. As a leader, though, it is your job to steer the group toward new ideas
and manage disagreements between group members.
Be Wary of Consensus Seeking.
Actively Seek Input.
Extroverts often find it easy to speak their mind
in front of a group while introverts may not.
Make sure to give easy opportunities for everyone on your team
to contribute to the discussion. People who are more naturally
introverted may not fully understand the value that their
contribution can have to the team.
When you hold meetings or facilitate collaborative discussions
online, do your best to bring everyone into the conversation to
help make sure that your team can benefit from everyone’s point
TIPS TO GET
• Pay attention to who isn’t
speaking—not just who is.
• Watch body language to
see if it looks like
someone is heavily
engaged, but quiet.
• If a small group of people
are dominating the
conversation, ask other
members of their group for
Use the Right Tools.
Although it might seem counterintuitive,
implementing the right structure and
systems will improve your team’s
ability to be flexible and innovate.
Depending on your industry, there may or
may not be ready-made innovation processes
to follow. If you are a manufacturer, for
example, you might choose to use a tool such as
to help you define your innovation
process. If you are in marketing or professional
services you may choose something else.
Regardless of what industry you are in, the
important thing is that you need a system
—and you need the tools to support it to keep
the system running smoothly.
Cureo intranets and extranets grease the gears of innovation by helping you collaborate and innovate
more effectively with people inside your business and with clients and other external stakeholders.
About Cureo: Cureo is a web-based collaboration platform that creates secure, social intranets
and extranets for organizations looking to engage their constituents and reduce reliance on emails,
advance commerce, and get things done.
Simplify Innovation with Cureo
Instead of tracking down
emails in your cluttered inbox,
Cureo gives you a password
protected messaging system
designed to make group
Integrate meetings between
Cureo and popular calendar
apps including iCal, Google
Calendar, and Outlook.
Share documents and
reference documents behind
Cureo’s secure double