Does your Organisational Structure allow for Innovation?

I don’t think that innovation is anything new in business, however, what might be new is the expectation or should I say need for all employees in the business to be innovative rather than all the ideas coming from the Business Owners or Senior Managers.

Whilst innovation, I am sure, has always been important in business, it certainly is now with the current market and level of competition.  Therefore, the need to continually be coming up with new and / or different ideas has never been more important.

Don’t forget innovation can be big or small and will mean different things for different businesses depending on where they are and where they want to be.  Innovation is changing, altering, transforming, varying and so on.  Some various quotes on innovation which help to define it, and inspire;

  • I’d rather gamble on a vision than to provide a ‘me too’ product
  • Innovation is the only way to win
  • Being innovative is not about solving problems.  It’s about solving problems no one else sees.
  • Innovation is seeing what everyone else sees but thinking what no one else has thought
  • When all think alike, no one is thinking.

When thinking of Innovation, most expect it from their employees or simply ask them to innovate.  However, that’s not going to work or certainly not get you the best results.  It would be better to re-communication the vision, explain the need to innovate, explain what innovation means in your business and then pose them with some questions to think about.  Once, someone has an idea, collaborate on the idea and see where it goes, watch… it will grow and maybe into something different. However, this is still a very almost one-off approach and you need to give it some momentum to ensure it keeps happening.

Innovation needs to be thought about all the time and make is part of your organisational culture.  So, to do this you need to do more.  You need to make sure it’s reflected in your values, you need to lead the way, involve, include and collaborate (two minds are better than one remember!).  Maybe start with; asking questions, give them a specific challenge, continually ask questions, make it an agenda item for meetings, listen and give some of the ideas a go otherwise you won’t get anymore and maybe even give them some headspace to think about it.   Innovate not come up with a solution, but innovate to change the culture to allow innovation to happen.

However, really it’s still not enough and it’s important to make sure that the business structure, processes, workflow and even tasks that people do, allow that to happen.   Breaking down silos and creating processes that bring people together to collaborate allows them to innovate.  This will ensure your business is innovative and continually thinking of new products, services processes and other ideas will be normal business.

At HR Business Direction we can conduct an organisational review to ensure the structure, processes and people support innovation and / or your vision.

Leisa Messer BBus(HRM); GradDipIR; CAHRI; IRSQ
Managing Director | HR Strategist
07 3890 2066

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