Driving and encouraging innovation

How can I foster innovation?

In any leading organization, processes have already been streamlined, customer relationships enhanced and supply chains optimized. So when it comes to gaining competitive advantage, the Most Admired Companies – as identified in Hay Group and Fortune magazine surveys – are now focusing their work on how to promote and support innovation.

But while the importance of innovation is universally acknowledged, developing a culture conducive to innovation is a complex task. Hay Group’s insights show that innovation starts at the top, with leaders who provide strong direction and establish an organizational climate that encourages innovation. That not only means they support their people, but also that they enable staff to work without fear of failure.

So how do you create a culture that drives and encourages innovation? Our research suggests organizations need to develop in three key areas:

  • Leadership skills – we have identified particular leadership styles that encourage innovation, and can work with leaders in your organization to develop these skills
  • Organizational structure – so that decisions are made at the right level by empowered individuals and teams
  • Reward strategies – if you want to encourage innovation, it needs to be part of overall performance management – and needs to be rewarded.