Being a leader is the most challenging job one can have.
That’s because real leadership implies being vulnerable, often feeling scared and confused as well as many other unpleasant feelings which we would gladly avoid.
However, that is exactly why there are so few inspiring leaders today – because leadership is about constant learning, reinventing, innovation and being challenged.
If you are reading this, you are probably not the kind of employee who would just do what he is told without thinking about it. You probably want to have a bigger impact – to invest your time and energy into activities which matter. This implies courage, determination, willingness to fail and lead.
Let’s face it – in these changing times, constantly innovating is the only way to survive. If you want to read more about the future of work and the coming of job automation, I suggest you read this article as well.
What’s certain is that questioning our assumptions and testing out new models is a must if we are to prosper in the new emerging economy.
In the following paragraphs you will discover 4 simple ways through which you can inspire and foster innovation in your workplace – without too much hassle, without ruffling feathers and with logical, common sense arguments.
Here they are…
Innovation Acceleration Idea #1 – Train Technical People
In most companies, managers get the top priority when it comes to resources and authority. However, most people forget that the real job gets done by the technical people, not the management. That does not mean that management does not have a key role – but it begs the question, where should a company invest its resources for faster development?
Management is an art which takes time to learn on a individual level. However, the principles behind it are timeless and through self-education a manager can improve his skills as fast as possible. The technical skills, on the other hand, are constantly changing – especially in this information age we are living in now.
New solutions are emerging to problems we didn’t even know we had – and there are more and more tools available to tackle the challenges we currently have. This requires time and resources invested in education – the education of the technical oriented people.
That is why it would be an innovative move to invest more resources in the company’s technical staff’s education, not just in better management. This will create an exponential growth over time which will have tremendous benefits in all areas.
Innovation Acceleration Idea #2 – Invest In Tehnical Education
This point is similar to the previous one but it differs in one key aspect – focusing on technical education rather than just „soft skills”.
Yes, soft skills are vital to the company’s survival. People always need to improve their communication skills, management skills and so on. However, these things can be taught fast and need to be practiced over the long run – while the technical skills need more time to develop and can develop tremendous benefits in all areas.
For example, if you want to train managers, invest in real management framework courses – not in „motivational management courses” or something less technical. If you want to have a better flow in the company’s operations, invest in a course on improving operations and systems thinking – not a team-building.
Technical knowledge will always have a much more lasting impact than „soft skills”. Invest accordingly.
Innovation Acceleration Idea #3 – Focus On Pragmatic Solutions
The start-up and entrepreneurship scene is full of conferences, incubators, accelerators and so on. This is a fantastic thing – but not when it is detrimental to real progress.
Most educational courses which are promoted now are more about „motivation” and „productivity” rather than how to actually solve pressing problems. Of course, being motivated and productive is important – but most people prefer to talk more about solving problems than actually solving them.
If you want to solve real problems and have a major impact, you need to persist in finding a solution (from a technical point of view) and scale accordingly.
Focusing on implementing a new lean start-up methodology won’t bring in billions in profit – but solving a real-world issue for many people might.
Innovation Acceleration Idea #4 – Focus More On Less
There is this trend (especially in new, enthusiastic companies) which focuses on starting as many projects as possible. Although it might sound like a good idea (which has actually worked for some individuals and companies), the vast majority who adopted this strategy failed.
Why? Because spreading your efforts in many different directions is counter-productive to all the projects involved (besides making you crazy from the multi-tasking and overload). You spread your resources thin and the chances of succeeding in any project are becoming slimmer and slimmer.
That is why it would be much more intelligent to focus only on a handful of projects and invest the majority of resources only in those – preferably just one or two. Think like Apple, who also applied this strategy and had a major growth phase because of it.
Job automation is becoming a reality. Innovation is not optional anymore – it is mandatory if companies are to survive.
The question is – what are you going to do about it? Will you apply these ideas and take the role of a leader or will you just wait to see what happens from the sidelines?
If you are interested in working in a company which encourages innovation, TribeHired can help you make that happen.