Innovation is a vital aspect of organizational success in today’s fast-paced business environment. But not every organization fosters an environment conducive to innovation. An organization’s policies, practices, procedures, and culture can support or inhibit innovation.
An example of a policy which can hinder innovation is rigidity in hierarchy, where decisions are centralized and employees have little autonomy. As employees feel that their ideas will be ignored, this structure may limit creativity and encourage ineptitude. A more decentralized and flexible structure, which empowers employees and gives them the ability to decide and take responsibility for their work can encourage innovation.
A lack of funds for research and development is another example of a bad practice that could stifle creativity. Employees may lack the resources and support they need to develop and explore new ideas or create new products and processes. If an organisation allocates enough resources for research and development, employees will feel supported as they try to invent.
Innovation is also dependent on processes. Innovation can be hindered by inefficient and bureaucratic processes. In order to support innovation, companies should create efficient processes that allow employees the ability to easily and quickly test out and implement new ideas.
The culture within an organization may also be a barrier to innovation. An organization culture that is fearful of new ideas and speaking out can hinder innovation. Open communication is key to innovation. Employees should feel free to share new ideas with management and the manager will be open to listening.
To promote agility organizations need communication tools that permit real-time collaboration. Digital project management platforms are one such tool. They allow teams to instantly share information and track their progress. A messaging service that lets employees communicate instantly, no matter where they are located is another example. These types of tools can be built into the framework of an agile enterprise by integrating them into the organization’s processes and culture.
The organizational culture and policies can either support or hinder innovation. Companies that promote open communication and encourage collaboration, create efficient processes and allocate resources for research and development and use communication tools that allow real-time feedback and collaboration are more likely be able to foster agility and innovation.
- Rajni and Akshat Mishrira study on the relationship between innovation, organizational culture and creativity
- The Impact of Organizational Structure and Processes on Innovation Capability, by J. Michael Gale and Udo Richard Juergens
- Lezah T. Hernandez, David G. Javalgi: Organizational practices and policies that encourage innovation. A review of the literature.
- Karoliina Yulimaula, A Case Study: Culture differences and communication during innovation processes
- The Role of Organizational Culture in Fostering Creativity and Innovation: By J. Keith Murnighan, Julie R. O’Reilly, and Terri R. Kurtzberg.