How would you describe an environment that drives Innovation? It is one of those terms that is often used but is hard to pinpoint. How can an enterprise stay innovative? How can a small or medium company afford innovation? What kind of environment drives innovation? And is innovation even necessary for a business to survive?
Werner Vogels from amazon once stated “Innovation needs two main things: culture and technology.” Most innovations in the digital age are driven by technology, but rarely do they happen in an environment that doesn’t foster experimentation and embrace continous learning from failures.
According to Vogels, technology is the foundation for innovation. Only once technology is in place will the barrier to start something new be low enough.
However, technology alone isn’t sufficient without budgetary support from management and an open and appreciative culture to embrace innovation.
Nothing kills innovation more than the traditional matrix organization with its top-down reporting structure. An organisation needs a collaborative environment with team members with an open mindset that leads to new ideas. No matter the size of the organization, keeping teams small and decentralized foster innovation.
How do you attract employees that are keen to build new services and products? Teams that push innovation rather than being afraid of change?
Often people with that kind of mindest are hesitant to join a hierarchical organisation. So it’s key to build an environment where teams are permitted to fail and where free spirits have a degree of freedom to develop your company’s future.