So you have set up a process to innovate. Have you considered some of the cultural issues that affect your corporate environment so you can actually innovate and come up with new ideas to address customers’ needs?
People need time off from their daily routines to allow time and energy to focus on new possibilities. This actually involves directed wandering with a creative mind to address customers’ needs. To accomplish an environment for mental creativity, different employees need direct situations: some need to sit alone while others feed off of other’s related or unrelated thoughts–the same as figuring out a problem by oneself or by talking it out with others. Some people need time to get out of their routine environment to invigorate their thinking. Time and place for creative thought tends to be individualistic.
In the goal of innovation, employees need to be able to broaden their existing responsibilities and the role they play within the organization. Otherwise, other employees may disregard a new idea because it was created by a person who works in the “wrong” area, or the new idea is outside of the area their current responsibilities. It is important to realize that most employees have had different responsibilities throughout their career that provide adequate experience for new ideas outside their current role within the organization.
The underlying cultural rejection of failure will undermine anyone’s ability to generate new ideas. A culture that keeps everyone “off the skyline” will abrogate the realization of new horizons. So recognize solid efforts for risky projects in which employees took all the right steps, and provide shared learning among other employees to create “innovation value” for the organization.
These environmental factors will clear much of the hesitancy in new idea generation.