Do you think Innovation and Continuous Improvement is the responsibility of a select few in your business?
I once did. I was wrong.
Over the years I have seen that by creating a workplace where all employees are actively looking for new and better ways of working, the results can be transformative - transformative for organisational culture, financial performance and business growth.
Below are the 3 elements I believe are critical to creating your Culture of Innovation & Continuous Improvement
1: Make it Safe
Just yesterday I saw the power of something critical for kick-starting a culture of continuous improvement. Shortly after launching an Operational Excellence program the improvement team presented their projects. What was evident in the group was the bond they had created with each other. Each member was supporting the other's projects, and unaware how they were initiating change on an established organisational culture. I couldn't help but feel the pride they felt for each other as they presented their achievements.
Psychological Safety is crucial in supporting the early innovators. This is a critical element of our workshops, often embedded unnoticed among the learning modules. Creating a workplace where employees feel safe to step out of their comfort zone, to challenge the status quo and to initiate change is fundamental to success.
2: Make it Fun
Here comes the science bit.... "Humour activates the brain's dopamine reward system, stimulating goal-oriented motivation and long-term memory, which means that humour can boost learning retention." Truth be told, I like to laugh and if someone should laugh along with me that's a bonus.
A recent participant announced that when she heard she had 3 hours of training for our workshop she planned to call in sick. She has since volunteered for the next level of training and hopes it will be as much of a laugh as the first.
Our learning workshops are based around fun, hands-on games, helping participants see the power of team work, continuous improvement and problem solving.
If we want to attract people to get involved in innovation and improvement we need to make it enjoyable. Employees walking past a training room hearing howls of laughter from the team inside cant help but entice the next group of change agents to get involved.
3: Transfer the Passion
I love everything about innovation and continuous improvement.
I don't hide it either. To inspire others to adopt this mindset we need the passion to be contagious. We need leaders who are unapologetic about their passion, who believe in what this approach can bring to the business and to create followers who feel safe to embrace this passion also.
Building a culture of Innovation and Improvement is not a 'nice to have' in our businesses, it's a 'need to have'. Businesses that adopt this approach surpass their competitors, attract and retain the top minds in the industry and thrive.
To hear more about how you can inspire a culture of innovation and continuous improvement in your team please get in touch with our team.