Why Innovation is Crucial for Survival
“He who hesitates is lost.”
— Joseph Addison, 1712
“He who hesitates is lunch.”
— Anonymous, 2020
The evidence now emerging is both chilling and hopeful.
As the current pandemic spreads, nervous organizations who keep to the status quo and maintain, “We’ve always done it this way,” are wilting, stagnating, and drying.
But there’s good news:
New research from the Best Christian Workplaces Institute has pinpointed and confirmed at least one, key difference-maker between organizations likely to stagnate and those that reinvent themselves and thrive in the midst of uncertainty.
The catalyst for organizations whose engaged employees perform, collaborate, and excel even under pressure, is leadership’s willingness, courage, and freedom to innovate:
BCWI has announced that “In general, there is a very strong correlation between innovation and employee engagement. On average, flourishing organizations scored much higher on innovation compared to organizations that are toxic.”
While some employees with creative confidence and ambition tend to be more innovative, the workplace environment plays a large role in setting the stage for all employees to innovate at their best.
Consider these three predictors of innovation that also predict a flourishing workplace culture as you and your organization look to rebound:
1. An environment that rewards innovation and learning by ensuring that employees:
- Possess the power to make decisions and act on them
- May access and share the informational resources needed to effectively take action
- Have opportunities to learn
- Are rewarded for innovating or improving the effectiveness of their team or organization
- Are allowed to solve the same problem in different ways
- Are publicly recognized for being innovative
2. A transformational leader who inspires and supports employees by:
- Modeling humility, fairness, and integrity
- Respecting creativity
- Inspiring the team with a vision and path for the future (e.g., talks optimistically about the future and what needs to be accomplished)
- Considering the individual needs of each person (e.g., helps people develop their strengths, treats people as individuals)
- Providing the cognitive resources for people to do work differently (e.g., looks at a task from many different angles, suggests new ways of doing work)
3. A culture of healthy communication that involves employees in the innovation process so that the organization and leaders:
- Seek the suggestions of employees
- Act on the suggestions of employees
- Involve employees in the decisions that affect them
- Explain the reasons behind major decisions
Do you have an innovation story of how your leadership and your people are being equipped and inspired to move forward through the current pandemic? Email Andrea Johnson, Project Specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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