Could focusing on innovation be the key to accelerating manufacturing growth? There’s certainly evidence to support the assertion. Two separate Georgia Tech studies (2010 & 2012) found that companies focused on innovation make more than twice as much money as those fixated on low cost initiatives.
But innovation doesn’t just happen. We cannot mandate that our team members innovate without first creating an environment in which creativity can thrive. So how do we cultivate a culture of innovation?
Ideas are the precursor to all innovation. Placing an emphasis on collaboration is one of the best ways to foster new ideas. Forget segmented teams and abandon the silo mentality. Rather, assemble teams of talented people from varying fields and disciplines to work together and share expertise.
Focus on outcomes
Set clear expectations and goals but do not place a great deal of emphasis on how those outcomes will be achieved. Hold team members accountable for figuring out how to achieve the end result without being bogged down by procedures and minutia. Allow the creative process of making it happen to unfold.
Set clearly defined company goals
Have clearly defined company goals and motivate your team to utilize their individual talents and find ways they can individually contribute to meeting those goals.
Identify and encourage individual talents and interests
Giving your team members the ability to explore areas of interest is giving them the ability to think and act creatively. A result is of creative thinking and experimentation? Innovation.