There is no denying the importance of innovation in a tech organisation, regardless of what exactly that organisation does. As technology changes and develops, innovative techniques are needed to embrace that. This means creating a workplace culture that appreciates and encourages innovation, and making sure it’s part of the team’s DNA. Innovation can bring a number of obstacles with it, such as how much experimentation should be encouraged, and should individual achievements be prioritised over collaborative efforts. But, as innovation is so valuable, these obstacles need to be overcome and innovative thinking should be a key part of every company’s culture. In order to create a workplace culture that’s focused on innovation and thinking outside of the box, tech organisations need to utilise the following three approaches.
Finding a Balance Between Individual and Team Tasks - Though it can be tempting to focus on collaborative projects at work, it’s important to make time for individual innovation also. There are a lot of benefits to working as a team, but there is a risk of creative autonomy being overlooked, and this is a key part of successful innovation. You need to give individuals the time to come up with innovative ideas themselves, without the pressure of others on the team. There is always the chance of a mistake being made, but this is the type of environment where innovation thrives.
Encourage Team Members to Experiment - Creating a workplace that fosters innovation means inspiring team members to experiment, to step outside of the box and do something that’s outside of their usual realm. Not only does this get rid of any limitations they may have put on themselves, but it also stops them from feeling discouraged if their ideas are rejected. It’s important to create a workplace where innovation is based on open minded thoughts and unique solutions, and there is no fear of getting things wrong. This could stifle ideas and innovative thinking, whereas you should want to encourage it as much as possible. Experimentation also encourages employers to share their thoughts and approaches, which opens up communication amongst the team. When ideas are flowing freely from one person to another, they can be developed into creative and beneficial solutions.
Inspire Everyone to Focus on Learning - Without learning, there will be no innovation, so inspire your team to learn and develop in the workplace. It doesn’t matter how large or small your team is, developing new skills and perspectives can drive innovation forward in a big way. This is why it’s important to provide your workplace with everything they need to learn at work, including tools, training and courses. A lot of tech professionals are responsible for their own learning, but you can encourage this by offering a range of resources for them to use. Inspiring continually learning throughout a career also shows employees that you are invested and committed to their individual opportunities.
Though innovation is usually driven by team members, having a culture that fosters this innovation is vital. This is something that leaders, business owners and managers can develop using the three ways listed above. As every organisation is different, you might find that one approach works better for your team than others.