In addition to my previous post, I can’t stop thinking about an easy model to ignite change in Belgian enterprises. Change, to me, can be triggered by several “motives”. Most obvious motives are problems, shortcomings, growth, etc, all well mastered by most companies.
One motive that I don’t notice enough in Belgium is innovation. How does corporate innovation fit companies in times of crisis. As managers, we are completely focused on the financial aspects of the crisis as it happens. This makes us unaware that we are not arming ourselves for the post-crisis market situation of our company.
Possibly, this is what strikes companies all over Europe these days. Look at Nokia, Sony Ericsson and many others. This is the time innovation can benefit a company the most. It can fail for sure, but when you succeed as an enterprise, you will be able to conquer the financial challenges you face. Take a look at Apple for instance. During this whole financial debacle, the grew more than any of their competitors. And yet, they are situated in the “nice to have” segment of their market.
How do you ignite and support innovation in your company? I think there are 3 important and basic rules to that:
- As company leader, express clearly the need to innovate to all your employees! Innovation has to be acknowledged as a core enterprise attitude;
- Embed means to facilitate innovation throughout the entire company. There’s no such thing as an innovation department or division. As stated in 1, it’s an attitude every employee should master. The smallest, most basic changes can have a big impact on your company, so they can be initiated by anyone;
- Have someone with strong managerial and leadership qualities orchestrate innovative ideas into workable and feasible projects.
Probably, everybody has a different view on this, and that’s good! Change and innovation leading to change is a dynamic process evolving with company culture, market situation and above all “human capital”, as in people.