How can you promote a culture of innovation in your workplace? Eugenia Kolivos (Corrs IP&IT Partner) led a recent panel discussion with Dominic Price (Head of R&D and Work Futurist at Atlassian), Karl Durrance (Sales Manager at Amazon Web Services) and Angus Dorney (Senior Director & General Manager Australia and NZ at Rackspace) on what innovation means to them and how it contributes to the success of their organisations. Here are five key takeaways from a highly engaging and interactive session.
Always maintain your enthusiasm. Be inquisitive. We are too busy putting out fires in our day-to-day roles and do not invest enough time in being curious. Challenge the way things have always been done and actively seek opportunities to facilitate new ideas. Dedicate time to asking whether you are doing the job right rather than just getting the job done.
The best ideas often come from the bottom up as those in more senior positions can be afraid to take a risk. Establish a structure that allows your team to progress in their careers but enables people at all levels of your organisation. Everyone can and should be a leader and that is a fundamentally different role to the administrative task of managing. Trust your team and give them the space to perform and own their decisions.
Hire people who are different to you and will challenge your ideas. Don’t always seek out the people who are going to agree with you. This may make you uncomfortable, and even angry or resistant at times, but surrounding yourself with diversity is going to have the most positive impact on your performance and your organisation.
4. A tolerance for failure
Don’t promote a culture of failure but don’t be afraid to fail. Create a workplace that has a tolerance for failure. Risk leads to reward and failure is sometimes a necessary prerequisite to learning and success. While no one celebrates failures, they form the basis for continual improvement. Generate an environment that allows people to explore and push boundaries.
No tool will solve your collaboration problems. Collaboration is a culture that leaders need to invest in. Too many organisations look to technology as a quick fix. Technology is simply a facilitator and can’t overcome bad practices.
This session raised much needed funds for The Helmsman Project so that they can continue to make a difference to young people living in communities affected by disadvantage. If you are interested in how you can support this program, please visit their website.