Creativity and Innovation Management: Organized Chaos?

Innovate, develop products and innovative services, discover ways to conquer new markets or suggest new creative uses for existing products and services within a company.

Walls covered with post-its, colorful bean bags, football tables, flexible hours, telecommuting, online collaborative tools and even prototypes made of modeling clay or pieces of lego, are the stereotyped scenario of this unbridled search for company creativity and innovation management.

The truth is that this type of initiative for company creativity and innovation management is healthy and very stimulating for younger generation employees.

On the other hand, some organizational cultures (such as government oversight agencies, audit firms, and law firms, for example) may feel a shock with this behavioral model.

In this context, we’ve listed 5 guidelines or pillars that can help in company creativity and innovation management and that aim for 2 main objectives:

  1. To not halt creative processes and the will to innovate in the organization
  2. To organize these initiatives concretely so that they don’t turn into impossible dreams

This requires the modeling of a creative innovation process, which can be summarized in the following five phases.

Also see: Disruptive Business Models: The Magic Formula Revealed

5 steps to implement company creativity and innovation management

Creative chaos exists and can work well in some environments. But a little order in this process helps to achieve concrete and lasting results.

1- Communicate clearly to everyone: “We want to innovate.”

Many companies don’t make it clear just how important innovation is and that they value this type of initiative.

Sporadic speeches and cold memos don’t go well together, at least with effective company creativity and innovation management.

With the enormous number of collaborative tools available for internal communication, it’s important to create an innovation platform, defining what the company’s objectives are, what markets it wants to develop, available technologies and other information.

But this should be a non-limiting guideline:

This is a way to formalize a company’s innovative desire. Create a space for idea discussion, a place to innovate.

An internal social media, which can be created from G+ corporate or from Workplace, among other tools, is an excellent way to promote your company’s creativity and innovation policy.

2- Organize the time to innovate

The Google case has already become famous. It allows its employees to spend 20% of their time working to dedicate themselves to personal and innovative projects.

But again, if you don’t adequately publicize time available for innovation, your employees will not feel safe.

There are 4 main company creativity and innovation management models, adopt the most relevant for your organization’s culture and goals:

  • Free time: Each employee chooses if, when and how much time to use on innovative projects
  • Time Spent: It’s very similar to the first model. The difference is that it’s evident that the company values the time it spends on innovation.
  • Determined Time: In this case, there are specific events, lectures, contests, and meetings where employees should focus on creative initiatives.
  • Defined Time: Like the Google case, which defines a percentage of the working hours an organization can use to innovate.

Check it out: What is disruptive innovation? The genial decision that changes an era!

3- Control activity and results

It’s important that company creativity and innovation management define a way to measure how much time and resources an organization is using to innovate and what results it’s obtaining.

Thus, it will be possible to improve the innovation policy continuously. By encouraging and standardizing the practices that generated the most profits or reached other goals established by the company.

4- Recognition

Generating innovative ideas is part of an employee’s job, but this doesn’t prevent a company from recognizing these efforts. It can hand out certificates and even awards in the form of bonuses and promotions for the project designers that have generated the most profit for the business.

Also see: Disruptive innovation: Is it the new fashionable business expression?

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