Innovate, develop innovative products and services, discover ways to conquer new markets or suggest new creative uses for products and services already existing in the company.
Walls covered with post-its, colored ottomans, foosball tables (or foosball, if you prefer), flexible schedules, teleworking , online collaborative tools and even prototypes made of modeling clay or with lego pieces are the stereotyped scenario of this unrestrained search by creativity and innovation in organizations.
The truth is that this type of initiative for managing creativity and innovation in companies is healthy and very stimulating for employees of younger generations.
On the other hand, some more rigid organizational cultures (such as government enforcement agencies, audit firms and law firms, for example) may feel a shock at this model of behavior.
In this context, we list 4 guidelines or pillars that can help in managing creativity and innovation in companies and which have 2 main objectives:
- Do not hinder creative processes and the will to innovate in the organization
- Organize these initiatives in a concrete way, so that they do not become impossible dreams
For this, it is necessary to model a creative innovation process , which can be summarized in the 4 phases that we will present below.
See also: Disruptive business models: the formula revealed
4 steps to implement creativity and innovation management in companies
Creative chaos exists and can work well in some environments, but a little bit of order in this process helps to achieve concrete and more lasting results.
1- Communicate clearly to everyone: we want to innovate
Many companies do not make it clear how important innovation is and that this type of initiative is valued.
Sporadic speeches and cold memos do not combine, at all, with effective management of innovation and creativity in the company.
With the huge number of collaborative tools for internal communication available today, it is important to create an innovation platform, defining what the company’s objectives are, what markets it intends to develop, available technologies and other information.
But this should be a non-limiting guideline: It is a way of formalizing this innovative desire of the organization and creating a space for discussing ideas, a starting point.
An internal social media, which can be created even from corporate G + or Workplace , among other tools, is an excellent way to publicize your creativity and innovation policy in the company.
2- Organize time to innovate
The case of Google, which allows its employees to use 20% of their time at the company to dedicate themselves to personal and innovative projects, has already become famous.
But, again, if the rules of the time available for innovation are not properly publicized, your employees will not feel safe to do so.
There are 4 main models for managing creativity and innovation in the company, adopt whatever is most related to the culture and objectives of your business:
- Indeterminate free time: each employee chooses if, when and how much time to use in innovative projects
- Stimulated time: very similar to the first model, the difference is that it is very clear that this time spent in innovation is extremely valued by the company.
- Determined time: in this case, there are events, lectures, contests and specific meetings in which employees must dedicate themselves to creative initiatives.
- Defined time: this is the case with Google, where a percentage of working time is defined that can be used to innovate.
See more: Disruptive innovation: the genius that changes an era!
3- Control activity and results
It is important that the management of creativity and innovation in companies define a way to measure how much time and resources are being used to innovate and what results have been obtained.
Thus, it will be possible to constantly improve the innovation policy, encouraging and standardizing the practices that generated more profits or achieved other goals established by the company.
Generating innovative ideas is part of the employees’ work, but this does not prevent the company from recognizing these efforts with diplomas and even with awards in the form of bonuses and promotions, for the authors of the projects that generated the most profit for the business.