Whether you will succeed or fail when facing a challenge depends on how you manage it. You have to be able to take risks and try new things, no matter how scary it is, or how big the damage could be if you fail. It is only by taking this attitude of nothing to lose and everything to gain that you can innovate your new or existing business and actually become competitive. It is about planting an ever-returning seed of growth.
We live in a world where nothing seems to be truly unique anymore. Everything has been done before. However, old ideas can be reinvented (why do you think there are so many movie remakes, for instance?), and it is possible that something new will come along as well. What is most important is that you place yourself in a position where ideas for new products and services, or new developments of existing things, actually come to you. If you are a business owner, this means you have to know what managing innovation is all about.
Managing innovation is about more than simply having an understanding of innovation yourself. It is about making sure that everybody in your organization, across all levels and departments, not only understand innovation, but feel engaged in it. Everybody has to feel like they can put any idea forward and that it will be listened to and respected. This is also a huge element of employee engagement, an idea that, until recently, was considered innovative but is now commonplace.
Employee engagement essentially means that employees feel like they are a true valued and respected member of the organization they work for. It means they know that they are an integral cog in the entire machine and that their value is as high as anyone else within the organization. Research on employee engagement shows just how important this is. Engaged employees:
- Are more productive
- Have fewer sick days
- Spend less time looking for other jobs
- Don’t mind putting in the extra work
- Are happier in themselves
Innovation management is the next big thing and it ties in wonderfully with employee engagement. If you work in an environment where you know that you are valued and respected, you will feel more comfortable putting forward an idea, not feeling like you will be ridiculed. This doesn’t mean, in any way, that every idea will be implemented. Rather, it means that it will be listened to and considered. Anything that looks good will be put to the test, and if it is found to actually work, then it will be implemented. People don’t mind putting forward ideas that go nowhere, if they can understand why. What they mind is working somewhere where they aren’t listened to.
Innovation management is, in itself, an innovative idea. But it is probably the most important change you will put forward in your business. If you have an existing business, it may mean changing the entire company culture, which can be hard. But the rewards are tremendous.