Every company believes it is fostering innovation but not every company does. We talked to a panel of innovation experts for the approach a company needs to take to truly encourage new thinking. Here’s what they said:
Fix your mindset. Established companies are especially afraid to fail and can’t grow as a result. However, it’s the truly innovative companies that have learned to expect and manage failure who are able to pursue the freshest approaches. “Failure — We could just call it learning,” says Jeanne M. Liedtka, a professor of Business Administration at the University of Virginia.
Let innovation flourish. Some businesses are hesitant to innovate since it could interfere with or even threaten crucial core business operations, says Jonathan Axelrod, managing director at Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator. He suggests you separate innovation and core business so neither is hampered and so new efforts aren’t competing with legacy interests.
Accept outside innovation. Once you grow to a certain size, you might need to accept that your company is better off acquiring a smaller company that’s created a solution you need, says Greg Grove, an attorney at Chicago’s Much Shelist. “Larger organizations have an advantage where they can support or invest in or acquire smaller enterprises to drive their own growth,” he adds.
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