Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Building a Culture of Innovation Crucial for Long-Term Competitive Success

By Prangya Pandab - September 14, 2022 3 Mins Read


Though necessity may be the mother of innovation, creativity is equally necessary today for the competitive IT industry. Creating a culture that values creativity can help an organization succeed in the long run.

Technology is constantly changing, as is how it affects business capabilities. Innovation in technology enables businesses to constantly improve and evolve, along with some self-disruption. This makes the business less susceptible to external disruption and better equipped to handle it when it does happen.

Change is pervasive and is advancing at an accelerated rate with time.

For organizations to succeed today, constant innovation is not just a preference but a must. The leaders who can adopt a state of readiness for everything are those who will drive impact. 

Improved productivity and consumer experiences also increase employee happiness and spur economic growth. IT leaders are aware that innovation can also occur in tiny, gradual stages and changes, despite the fact that many people identify emerging technologies like the metaverse or autonomous vehicles with the term “innovation.”

The pace at which companies can and do innovate is particularly quick in the technology industry. Inability to do so puts the company at a greater risk of being disrupted and/or unable to respond to one.

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Establishing a Culture of Innovation

Starting small and enabling regular iteration is typically necessary to create a culture that fosters creativity. Leaders need to be willing to attempt approaches and methods that might not be successful. Employee-led initiative groups and technology advisory teams give employees a sense of ownership while addressing complex problems. People can take part in activities that play to their abilities. While some individuals might excel at coming up with ideas, others would like the challenge of doing extensive research to support the solutions chosen as the best possibilities.

It’s crucial to allow teams the freedom to try new things. Teams have the chance to learn from their mistakes and apply what they’ve learned to their future initiatives when they are given the freedom to experiment.

A Gradual Approach to Innovation

It is essential to take a slow but steady approach to innovation. To enable the business to swiftly test concepts and technologies using a repeatable methodology and produce a prototype that can later be abandoned or scaled, leaders must create a focused and small prototyping team.

An organization-wide innovation lab can be particularly effective when combined with specific incentives for idea development since it promotes unconventional thinking in a focused and secure setting. With this approach, innovation can be applied throughout the entire company. The funding and the ability to scale outside the initial area are typically minimized when innovation is primarily within operating teams.

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Investing in the Future

Companies must dedicate a set amount of funds each year to new, innovative, or emerging technologies and approaches, forcing prioritization of research initiatives. If done well, it can help normalize the culture of experimentation.

The most innovative companies often invest consistently in tests and experiments, allocating somewhere between 5 and 10 percent of their overall budgets to experimentation. Allocations will differ depending on the organization and desired focus.

IT leaders must be intentional about providing teams with opportunities if they want innovation to flourish. Employees should be encouraged to experiment with innovative solutions while acknowledging that not all of them will be successful and that recognizing the effort is just as important as celebrating the triumphs.

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Prangya Pandab

Prangya Pandab is an Associate Editor with OnDot Media. She is a seasoned journalist with almost seven years of experience in the business news sector. Before joining ODM, she was a journalist with CNBC-TV18 for four years. She also had a brief stint with an infrastructure finance company working for their communications and branding vertical.

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