Innovation is crucial in the business world, and as companies and businesses grow larger, they often find it difficult to promote new ideas. Bigger companies are usually less mobile, and quick changes to operations and strategy become much harder to implement after initial success. For companies looking to break this mold, empowering upper level management is very important, in order to enact the changes needed to push the business culture toward innovation.
In an article in Entrepreneur, author Avner Mor looks at several ways to ensure innovation continues as a business grows. He focuses on changes to top level management that will help foster an environment that rewards innovation. An important first step is to accept the fact that failure will occur, and that this is not necessarily a bad thing. Failure can often be a good learning experience, and discouraging any risk will greatly hamper creativity. Large companies should be able to accept some losses, and by keeping the business mobile, new ideas can be tested and quickly scrapped if they aren’t successful.
Large businesses can become more mobile by allowing upper management to be free to plan and work on their own, without worrying about traditional business plans or workflows. Rapid testing and customer feedback can be very helpful when promoting innovation, and innovation managers should be allowed to focus on these objectives instead of following normal company processes. Giving new projects small amounts of financial funding can also increase mobility, by forcing teams to focus their efforts and produce simple prototypes quickly, which can be tested and evaluated before substantial commitments have been made.
Innovation is a key for big businesses looking for continued viability and future growth. In order to promote an innovative culture, core ideas and structures inside the company may have to be altered. Taking risks and making quick decisions will also be necessary, in order to realize the many potential benefits innovation brings to business.