Innovate or Die

“Innovate or die!” is a common refrain heard in organizations today. In order to stay competitive and viable, organizations need to continually come up with new products, new services, and reconsider organizational practices. Because in the absence of innovation, organizations become stale, rigid and increasingly irrelevant. So how does a company build a culture that promotes innovation? What organizational practices foster the creativity and adaptability needed to navigate the whitewater of competitive strategy?

Innovation involves two main components: creativity and implementation. Creating a culture of innovation requires that your work environment nurture creativity by fostering expansive thinking, experimentation and an acceptance of failure. Only then will employees feel comfortable trying to come up with new, inventive ideas. But that’s not enough. The culture must also support implementation. Having creative ideas without the ability to implement them is like having millions of dollars in a frozen bank account. The resources are there, but you can’t do anything with them.

Organizations can employ the following four practices to create a culture of innovation:

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Dr. Jamie Gruman

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Dr. Jamie Gruman is Professor of Organizational Behaviour at the University of Guelph’s College of Business and Economics. He specializes in human sustainability and productivity in the workplace, and recently published the book, Boost.

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