What creates the optimal conditions for innovation

You need an open culture for innovation

Everyone wants to be (more) innovative: companies, managers and employees. An appropriate culture is an important prerequisite for more innovative strength.

In order to achieve commercial success with innovative ideas, one thing above all is needed: systematic planning and implementation. It is important to introduce pragmatic innovation management. In addition to organization and an open culture, this requires a well thought-out strategy and an effective innovation process.

In the article “More innovation? It's as easy as that! "The focus was on the following five organizational and cultural aspects:

  • Creating a flexible organization,
  • Promoting open cooperation;
  • Creating creative times,
  • Promotion of lateral thinking and
  • Experiment and tolerate.

In order to establish a functioning innovation process with a clear strategy and leadership, there are now five additional elements.

Five elements for an open culture of innovation

  1. Take calculated risks
  2. Use technology profitably
  3. Look beyond your own industry
  4. to celebrate success
  5. Implement innovation management

1. Take calculated risks

"If you don't keep up with the times, you keep up with the times."

Innovations are always associated with risks. But not innovating is by far the greatest risk, because if you don't keep up with the times, you keep up with the times. The financial risks should be made largely calculable. You can achieve this by allocating financial and personnel budgets to the innovation projects for dedicated project phases. With this, and with good project management, the effects can be calculated.

2. Use technology profitably

Those who want to implement innovations economically and cleverly can no longer avoid using digital technologies in a targeted manner. Using the cloud can make business processes efficient and flexible. Big data enables companies to derive trends from a large amount of market data and generate new ideas. And then there are the possibilities of social media, tools for customer relationship management (CRM), internal communication and collaboration as well as countless other areas. The possibilities of turning your business into a digital business in parts are almost endless. Those who do this in a targeted and focused way can benefit from enormous advantages and even gain significant competitive advantages.

3. Look beyond your own industry

Successful companies know the problems and needs of their target customers very well. You do not look for innovative ideas for corresponding problem solutions in your own branch. Because if you look at the neighbor, you run after it. The industry boundaries are becoming more and more blurred due to the increasing digitization of our economy.

"Industry expertise has degenerated from a success factor to a deceptive trap."

Traditional providers in all industries are increasingly challenged by completely new, previously unknown competitors, often from the high-tech sector (cloud services, intelligent networked objects, robotics, nanotechnology, etc.). When it comes to strategy and innovation, industry expertise has turned from a success factor to a deceptive trap. It also has to be learned from completely different industries.

4. Celebrate successes

If ideas come with great potential for success or if an innovation can be successfully launched on the market, celebrate it. An innovation award does not necessarily have to be advertised, it can also simply be a small, spontaneous celebration. The only important thing is that all employees feel that new and innovative things are of great value in your company. This in turn creates an incentive to create and contribute even more ideas. And celebrate inspires every working atmosphere.

5. Implement innovation management

Creative freedom is all well and good - it still needs focus and leadership! In addition to the above framework, a well thought-out strategy and consistent leadership are required. Collect the ideas in an idea portfolio. Periodically evaluate the ideas according to precisely defined criteria. Selected ideas are concretized, conceived, implemented and finally introduced on the market in innovation projects. No project without a clear mandate. Formulate the goals precisely, measurable, ambitious and yet realistic. Define the human and financial resources and set the organization and milestones. In this way, you give your innovation projects the necessary freedom and still keep it under control at all times - so that ideas become commercial success.

As an external sparring partner, coach, consultant or interim manager, Raphael Ledergerber supports companies in systematically increasing their business success. He has over 18 years of leadership, strategy, innovation, marketing and sales experience.