Innovative Organization:

Entrepreneurial Organization

How To Transform Your Business Into

An Innovative and Creative Culture

By Australian Business Limited and Australian Commonwealth ITR Department

Adapted by Dean Prebble and Prof. Howard Frederick, Ten3 NZ Ltd.

 

"Teamwork is a make or break situation. Either you help make it or the lack of it will break you."  ~ Kris A. Hiatt

 

Idea Procurement and Implementation

In order to flourish your firm's culture must encourage and nurture ideas rather than kill them.

Inspiring Culture

If an employee has a great idea and has it quickly squashed and mocked by their superiors they tend to stop sharing their thoughts in fear of more rejection and humiliation.  An antagonistic culture that fights change of any kind is the ultimate idea crusher and will not be able to keep up with a fast changing society.

 

 Larry Yukron, owner of Adventure Experts and former Qwest Communication executive, related that several firms in Silicon Valley have installed a "five minute rule."

The rule permits anyone to suggest an idea.  Then for the first five minutes after the idea is expressed only positive comments can be made.  By the time the idea is talked about for five minutes it has usually spun into an impromptu brainstorm session: that cultivates truly great ideas and some form of the discussion is often implemented.  Firms today must enthusiastically welcome new ideas and suggestions.  If an idea is properly given attention it just may become a solution to a problem, the next great marketing campaign, or even the perfect incubator for your next innovative product or service.

Furthermore, we must be certain to do something with all generated ideas.  If we encourage ideas, and then sit on them without taking any action, we will not get ideas generated in the future.  In addition, if we must reject or decide not to implement an idea without providing an adequate justification, firms will lose the future goodwill and creativity of these individuals.

Empowerment

Ideally, empowerment of employees results in increased initiative, involvement, enthusiasm, innovation and speed, all in support of the company's vision.  The word empowerment means to authorize, enable, and to permit.  Defining and encouraging empowerment is the job of leadership

Inspirational Leader: 10 Roles

However, traditional leadership in a multi level organisational structure may be fearful of empowering their subordinates in anxiety that ideas and initiatives from 'below' may undermine their authority and ultimately their position in the firm.  This is indeed a struggle but may be overcome by clear, ongoing communication and commitment from the top of the firm down.  Middle management needs to be assured that subordinate empowerment is for their personal gain as well as the collective good of the firm.  If this cannot be accomplished a non-conforming individual may need to be removed from the firm before a cultural transformation takes place in order to avoid conflict.

 

Communication

Communication is absolutely essential to give birth to a creative workplace in a mature, seasoned culture.  In fact creativity in communication is key to implementing a culture rebirth.  As we have mentioned, major changes in organizations often evokes resistance based on fear. 

Why Organizational Change Fails: 8 Common Errors Leaders Make

Imagine a CEO talking about the need to restructure for greater efficiency with innovation.  S/He talks about trends, budgets and so forth.  So far, so good.  But let that same executive mention the word down size and all of the rational information of needs to reorganize are abducted by the emotional.   Leaders need to communicate the corporate culture change initiative in a way that energizes and excites while simultaneously examining and overcoming their crew's hesitancy to embrace this same proposition.

25 Lessons from Jack Welch

Believing in Your People

People tend to rise on the occasion that someone truly believes in them.  A preacher once said if you place an A on a person's head they will give you an A, but if you put a C on their forehead they will give you a C, no higher.  Many times people are looking for someone to be interested in them and hold accountability to.  When they find this individual they will produce.  It is essential during a cultural transformation that each person in the firm has someone that believes in them and is counting on them to succeed.

Harvesting Emotional Energy

Values give meaning to people's lives.  Organisational performance is directly related to its ability to tap into its human potential.  For many people work is one of the most important ways they are able to give expression to who they are in their search for fulfilment.  When a person works for a firm whose values mirror those of their own they will respond by fulfilling their potential and tapping into their deepest levels of creativity.  Align your mission statement under a clear set of humane values and through living those values your corporate culture will harvest the emotional energy and the creative potential of your employees.

Accommodating Personal Idiosyncrasies

Accommodating personal idiosyncrasies may help the creative mind to flourish.  Whether it be eating a candy bar at a meeting, a brainstorm session in the wilderness or taking off all day and writing the proposal between 1 and 7 am people must have freedoms to create and produce how and where they want.  If firms permit their employees to create the plan to get from A to Z rather than dictate each step in the process they just may spur an otherwise average employee to new heights of creativity and accomplishment.

Positively Influencing Intrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic motivation highly correlates with increased creativity levels.  High-level encouragement toward innovation, immediate supervisor encouragement, autonomy and sense of control, optimal challenges, and tasks matched to interests all positively influence intrinsic motivation.  Therefore, firms should seek to have their employees do what they love and love what they do.   For businesses the first involves matching work well around an employee's expertise.  The latter involves creating the environment that will allow employees to retain the intrinsic motivational focus, while supporting their exploration of new ideas.

Jazz of Innovation: 11 Practice Tips

Freedom to Fail and Changing Pace Quickly

Many companies are extremely cautious not to make errors and some are so shielding that they spend enormous amounts of money, time and human effort to research plans thoroughly in an effort to avoid mistakes. 

Yet case studies in business schools show us time and time again that regardless of this effort mistakes are bound to happen.

Failure As a Stepping Stone To Success

In addition, the accelerated pace of change and current ease of new entrants to new markets due to technological advantages leave no time for companies to research every possible in and out.  For example, by the time that IBM and Compaq decided to create an online sales strategy it was too late.  In fact IBM and Compaq did not seem to notice when Dell decided to sell computers over the Internet. How could this be? Well people develop habits.  They have emotions.  They become blind to things that become familiar.  They have their own unique points of view.  These factors produce cultures and dynamics that paralyse efforts to do something new.  Including looking at small start up firms, like Dell, as a competitive threat and making a quick jump to new, innovative technology.  IBM no longer makes PCs and Compaq is foolish for even suggesting that they will be able to compete with Dell online.

3 Strategies of Market Leaders

Clearly freedoms must now, more than ever, be in place to allow employees to change strategies quickly and without scrutiny.   Doing more with less, in less time, is now a survival necessity for firms of all sizes.