It seems every company recognizes the importance of innovation. This is especially true for the IT industry, where often today’s latest software innovation is yesterday’s news. This is why it is intriguing to see InformationWeek taking a stab at pushing for a “culture of innovation.”
A recent post outlined five techniques “to support and encourage entrepreneurship in your employees — while simultaneously keeping everyone moving in the right direction.” The article notes you don’t have to start a business to be an entrepreneur, but organizations that can support and unleash an entrepreneurial spirit within their enterprise “will see greater creativity and innovation among their employees and will ultimately achieve greater success in the marketplace.”
InfoWeek’s five techniques to create a culture of innovation include:
- Communicate your goals, values, and mission to your team
- “Intrapreneurship”: finishing school for entrepreneurs
- Provide continual training and education opportunities
- Empower your employees to get things done
- Accept that failure is part of the process
I especially like the term “intrapreneurship.” The article explains it by using this example: “According to AngelList’s database, at least 200 startups were recently founded by former Google engineers. While it’s likely that many of them had the drive and the talent to be entrepreneurs, their time as intrapreneurs at a forward-thinking company like Google provided them with the confidence and the networks of collaborators, financiers, co-founders, and future employees to venture out on their own.”
Finally, I wholeheartedly agree with not being afraid to fail! Sadly, most organizations don’t accept this as a sine qua non for innovation. This was something that was drilled into me in my early career at P&G. The point is to keep the flow of ideas going because on second or third looks, even “bad” ideas probably have something valuable in them.
And in a world where creating value is the make or break for a company, it’s important that companies not stop looking for Ponies.