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Eight Ways to Increase Innovation

In This Article

(Click the links below to move easily to sections of this article)
Wisdom that Stands the Test of Time
How to Increase Innovation
Here’s What I Think
Video: Eight Ways to Increase Innovation in the Workplace

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Wisdom that Stands the Test of Time

A classic report by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) identified 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 ranked as an innovation leader (at that time around 2011 we ranked 8th overall in the world).

Below you will find eight methods that BCG and NAM identified as useful for increasing innovation. As I revisit these findings, it’s amazing how effective management principles stand the test of time.


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How to Increase Innovation

The report identifies the following eight methods companies can use to generate high quality ideas for innovation:

  1. Increase investment in idea generation
  2. Develop deep customer understanding
  3. Ensure executive-level focus and sponsorship
  4. Establish a favorable company culture
  5. Use outside sources of ideas effectively
  6. Partner with suppliers for new ideas
  7. Dedicate additional resources for innovation
  8. Provide incentives and rewards for innovation
If you want to increase innovation in your organization, start with improving the leadership skills of your managers up, down, and across the organization. Click To Tweet
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Here’s What I Think

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 time and money organizations devote to helping their people become better leaders and managers will also increase innovation. Innovation cannot occur in a vacuum; it requires effective leadership and management.

If a business suffers from lack of innovation, it also suffers from a lack of leadership.

If If a business suffers from lack of innovation, it also suffers from a lack of leadership. Click To Tweet
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Video: Eight Ways to Increase Innovation in the Workplace


Innovation does not occur by itself! It requires effective leadership. Click To Tweet
Written by Robert Tanner | Copyrighted Material | All Rights Reserved Worldwide

Robert Tanner, MBA

Welcome to my leadership blog. I'm the Founder & Principal Consultant of Business Consulting Solutions LLC, a certified practitioner of psychometric assessments, and a former Adjunct Professor of Management. As a leadership professional, I bring 20+ years of real world experience at all levels of management.

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