What makes an organization successful? Is it a visionary growth strategy, a phenomenal understanding of the market, or a value-driven customer experience? Well, all these things are important for the success of an organization.
But there’s something that trumps everything – Every winning enterprise has an ‘innovative work culture.’ It is also the biggest factor that makes Appinventiv one of the most successful software development companies in not just India but the world.
According to a report in Gartner, 91% of marketers are leading and supporting innovation initiatives, while 62% are solely responsible for such initiatives.
At Appinventiv, we believe that innovation means creating a culture where every teammate feels they have the autonomy to think independently and come up with new ideas. We also give emphasis on mentoring, listening, trusting, and empowering teammates to promote innovation and growth.
In this article, we will be sharing a few strategies that we use within our team to create a culture of innovation. But before moving to that part, first let’s find out the biggest challenges in creating innovative culture in the company.
Challenges Hindering Innovation Culture
In our opinion, there are basically two main reasons that hinders the progress of innovation culture in any organization:
Lack of creative effort
If the organization and team members don’t value innovation, or worse, if it is actively discouraged, the people who really want to innovate or have new ideas quickly get discouraged and leave the organization, or become unmotivated and lose their desire to innovate. This lack of creative effort from the employees and organization creates a powerful barrier and prevents innovation from even getting off the ground.
Lack of support
If there’s a lack of support from not just organization but also from internal team members, the new ideas are likely to fail. It’s important for organizations to build a sense of trust among their employees and encourage them to bring creative ideas to the table. So, creating an innovative culture requires support and trust so that when these creative ideas pop up, people do their best to find ways to experiment and turn ideas into innovative solutions.
The Process Appinventiv Follows to Create a Culture of Innovation
So, now let’s move on to the process that we follow to create an innovation culture in our company. The steps are explained below and are really easy to understand if you’re looking to create the same among your team members as well.
Clear Goal Setting
We believe that the first and foremost factor that drives innovation is ‘defined goals’ for every team.
Before starting any project or task, setting goals is a must, and they must be clear enough to align team members. Also, we believe that team members should have autonomy in how to reach those goals. This autonomy brings in new perspectives and ideas that allow real creativity to happen and helps build great digital products.
So, to start with, just choose a few important areas that can make a difference and work on them to achieve some ‘quick wins.’ These quick wins will help get everyone on board and excited for the upcoming journey.
Communicate, communicate and communicate
If you want to enable innovation, create an open communication system that facilitates idea, coordination, and collaboration.
At Appinventiv, we believe that communication is the key to create an innovation-powering culture. Be transparent and honest about where you currently are, and what are your future plans. This helps to create trust among team members. The communications should start from the top and consistently reinforced through many different channels and media. This, in turn, would help in delivering a clear message to other team members in the product development team and encourage more creative ideas that drive innovation and success of our product.
Understand that failing is part of the journey
Failure doesn’t mean the game is over, it means try again with experience.
You must have probably heard the above saying, and yes, we truly believe in this! If you’re not failing, chances are you are not innovating much. When you are fostering a culture of innovation, there’s always a chance of uncertainty and failure.
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We make sure that our team members are not afraid of such failures and they see every uncertainty as an opportunity. We always stand with them and encourage them to bring new ideas to the table. And we would say the same thing to you all – don’t be afraid to fail, it’s just another lesson that will lead to success.
Generous rewards and recognition
If you desire a culture of innovation, you must reward innovative behavior.
This is what we do. We are well aware that in order to promote innovation and brilliant ideas, it’s important to recognize and reward innovative behavior. For instance, we give ‘Performer of the month’ to those who bring something extraordinary to the table.
We also offer raises and promotions to those who contribute innovative ideas or verbally celebrate innovation efforts during team meetings. This encourages others to take efforts in building an innovative culture. Through an environment of appreciation, you can make your team not only come up with great ideas for the product but also take your company one step ahead.
Assignments that match the individual’s interest
When people find their work to be meaningful, they will also find it to be motivating.
Motivated team members are dedicated towards their work and give active feedback to the system, contributing to innovation. So what makes work meaningful? One way is to make sure it’s a good fit for the individual.
[Also Read: The Mobile App Design Process Appinventiv Follows]
We know the importance of providing meaningful work to the team members, and therefore, we pair the work that needs to be done with people who have both the skill and the interest to do it. When we make that match, our chances of seeing innovation increase because the work is more meaningful to the individual.
Creativity workshops for teammates
Creativity workshops at Appinventiv encourage the development of new ideas and solutions.
At Appinventiv, we conduct creativity workshops to work on innovative challenges and develop new ideas and solutions. We make sure that workshops are well moderated and the topics are exciting so that our teammates will be inspired and mobilized for innovation.
We feel that our strategies to create innovative culture in our company has helped us maintain the leading position in the software development industry. We have grown from 11 to 650+ members in just a span of six years. These strategies have helped us innovate at scale. Having said that, creating an innovation culture takes a lot of dedication, persistence and hard work. And if you want to create the same culture in your team, just follow the above steps and you will be good to go!