Innovation is the lifeblood of businesses that are operating and competing in the highly competitive globalised marketplace. It is also a key to survival for all businesses. Any business that does not innovate will go into obsolescence and will be crushed by the competition. How do the companies can foster a culture of innovation at their workplace? Here, the role of leadership is imperative as the creativity innovation and leadership all go hand in hand.
Only a creative leader will encourage creativity and innovation in an organisation. Some leaders undermine the importance of modernism stating that it is a cost intensive strategy. Development of an innovative idea is deemed as an expensive proposition in some organisations; this is what keeps them away from encouraging employees to come up with innovative ideas. On the other hand, there are a large number of companies, which encourage creativity innovation and leadership in their companies. They have realised that innovation is the best way to cut costs, increase profits, garner market share and to emerge as industry leaders. These are the companies which are flourishing in today’s business world.
It is essential that the leadership realises how important innovation is for the survival and success of their business. Not only should the leadership try and be innovative, employees should also be encouraged to come up with bright ideas that can help them succeed. It is for the leadership to realise that by encouraging new ideas from their existing employees, they are actually getting more out of their workforce by paying only as sufficient. There are many companies, in which leadership feels that creativity and innovation are the prerogative of the research and development teams. This myopic thinking does not allow them to encourage a companywide culture and environment for innovation.
The management has to realise that creativity and innovation is not important only to increase their sales and profits, but also to increase their manpower productivity. In companies where creativity is encouraged, the employees are better motivated, and employee turnover is lower. To create a culture of creativity and innovation, leadership should have a strong stance. Innovation toolkit can be used to help the creation and dissemination of innovative ideas in an organisation. These toolkits offer great means of communicating innovative ideas within the organisation. The innovation toolkit also helps the leadership in evaluating and implementing the innovative ideas. There is no dearth of examples of leaders who used innovation to drive their businesses to the positions of industry leaders; Henry Ford, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates are some of them.