A creativity strategy

Planning for innovation

Organisations have sales strategies, and strategies for growth and market share. But in the rapidly changing world of global business they also need a strategy for innovation. It improves creative problem-solving, and advances technology, processes, customer services, and product.

You can plan for innovation and create a strategy for it. You can have targets, milestones, and deliverables, just as you would in any other strategy.

So a team leader or a chair of a board can create a road map for the future, where the innovation strategy is totally bound in with the overall business strategy. It can be intrinsic to everything, not an add-on.

So why wouldn’t you have an innovation strategy, to help put yourself ahead of the competition or the new start-up?

It doesn’t mean that everyone has to have creative ideas. It is more about championing and rewarding creativity, showing that new ideas are valued and rewarded throughout the organisation.

People can champion creativity in lots of different ways. They might promote or help other people’s new ideas, implement different ways of working, or accept that current practices are not the only ones that work. And above all to embrace risk.



Failure isn’t a problem

Not trying anything new is.

Fear prevents us from trying – fear of reprimand, fear of demotion, fear of sticking your head above the parapet and having it shot off.

And fear is increased when there is more at stake. A culture of risk aversion and an emphasis on the bottom line has the risk of increasing a culture of fear (looking at the potential downside) rather than a culture of innovation (looking at the potential upside of doing things differently).

Your culture of creativity might introduce a wide range of new or different ideas, like funding for prototypes, embedding creativity into training, or recruitment and performance monitoring. The act of resourcing such initiatives, and enthusiastically rolling them out, changes the way people think about their work. It also reinforces the overall message that the company is serious about developing its creative potential.