What is organizational innovation?

Definition of innovation

Organizational innovation refers to new ways that work can be organized and accomplished within an organization to foster and promote competitive advantage. It covers how organizations, and people specifically, manage work processes in areas such as customer relations, employee performance and retention, and knowledge management.

At the center of organizational innovation is the need to improve or change a product, process, or service. All innovation revolves around change, but not all change is innovative. Organizational innovation encourages people to think independently and creatively by applying personal knowledge to organizational challenges. Therefore, organizational innovation requires a culture of innovation that supports new ideas, processes, and more generally new ways of “doing business.”

The benefit of an innovative organization

When promoting a culture of innovation, organizations should encourage:

– Building multidisciplinary teams while discouraging the construction of silos

– Creative and independent thinking to see things from a new perspective and put yourself outside the parameters of a job function

– Risk-taking by employees while reducing the status quo

The value and importance of knowledge and learning within organizational innovation is crucial. If innovation is about change, new ideas, and looking outside of oneself to understand the environment, then continuous learning is a requirement for successful organizational innovation.

The value of learning and knowledge can only be realized once they are put into practice. If the new organizational knowledge does not generate changes, whether in processes, business results or increased customers or revenue, then its value has not translated into success.

The path to organizational innovation lies in the ability to impart new knowledge to company employees and in applying that knowledge. Knowledge must be used for new ways of thinking and as a springboard towards creativity and towards change and innovation.

Steps for innovation

To determine how conducive your current environment is to fostering innovation, read the frequently asked questions and answers below on how to build an organizational culture that fosters innovation.

1) Is a climate of innovation supported by top management?

For. That means that activities such as risk taking and small ad hoc working groups brainstorming and discussing ideas need to be promoted, supported and encouraged in the organization.

2) Do managers routinely identify and bring together those individuals most oriented towards innovation, those who are willing to come up with new ideas and act accordingly?

For. Identifying new thinkers and change-oriented individuals helps ensure an outlet for innovation by supporting these individuals and giving them and their like-minded colleagues the time and opportunity to think creatively. This amounts to becoming an innovative organization.

3) Is there a process in place to monitor innovation teams and identify what has and hasn’t worked as a result of them?

For. Maintaining and monitoring innovation is important. This requires checks and balances that identify how innovation is developed and managed and processes that capture what worked and what didn’t. In order to continue innovating in a changing environment, it is key to continuously monitor the internal and external environment to determine what supports or hinders innovation.

4) How can an organization be strategic and focus on its objectives while at the same time building and developing an innovative culture?

For. The value of a strategic approach is still important to the success of a company. In fact, clear direction and understanding of a company’s mission can help drive innovation, by knowing where in the organization innovation and creativity would provide the most value. An innovative organizational culture creates a balance between strategic focus and the value of new ideas and processes to achieve them.

5) Is there a most important variable or ingredient that drives an organization towards an innovative culture?

For. Like other successes in an organization, innovation is driven by the people in the organization. First, management must set expectations for innovation and creativity, and then “doing business” is about improving processes, products, and customer relationships on a day-to-day basis. This mindset in itself will create a culture of continuous innovation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *