Video: Eight Ways to Increase Workplace Innovation
A report by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) identifies eight ways to increase innovation. This report surveyed corporate members of NAM who represented companies of all sizes across various industries.This 32 page report assessed the state of innovation at US companies including determining how the US ranks as an innovation leader (we rank 8th overall in the world).
How to Increase Innovation
The report identifies the following eight methods companies can use to generate high quality ideas for innovation:
- Increase investment in idea generation
- Develop deep customer understanding
- Ensure executive-level focus and sponsorship
- Establish a favorable company culture
- Use outside sources of ideas effectively
- Partner with suppliers for new ideas
- Dedicate additional resources for innovation
- Provide incentives and rewards for innovation
My thought as I read these eight ways to increase innovation is how they reinforce what we already know about effective management and leadership. Effective business executives already do the following:
- Ensure that their organizations truly understand their customers' needs;
- Establish collaborative relationships with their business partners;
- Allocate resources for training and development;
- Create a culture for change and continuous improvement;
- Model and reward the behavior they want from others; and
- Incorporate good external business practices that align with organizational goals.
Clearly, the case can be made that the investment in helping business professionals to become better leaders and managers will also increase innovation in the organization. Innovation cannot occur in a vacuum; it requires effective leadership and management.