Make Room for Innovation

Make Room for Innovation

Peter Drucker wrote “If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.” These words resonate right now as I’ve just sold my home of 30 years to start the next chapter of my life. In order to make room for the new, it involved letting go of a lot.

How often do we make room for change and innovation? For most of us in the workplace, it’s not a lot. It’s so easy to stay in our comfort zones and stick with the tried and true, to not rock the boat. I remember as a first-time manager feeling the need to “choose” my battles when I was told “this is the way it has always been done.” As one of the lower priority organizations when it came to budget, doing it the way it had always been done wasn’t an option. We needed to make room for innovation if we were to be able to do what was being asked of us.

So, we created a campaign for change. We brought the power of the team together and brainstormed ways we could improve our customer service, streamline our processes and gain a larger share of the budget. We looked for ways to beat the system. And when we found them, we instituted them. Simple things like being ahead of the budget requests for end-of-year money, and harder things like sitting down with the customer and finding out what didn’t work for them. We were curious, we were open to change, and we made room for innovation. Employee engagement was at an all-time high, we had all the equipment we needed, and our ratings with the customer were through the roof!

None of this would have happened if we hadn’t questioned the standard way of doing business and engaged the folks who knew the problems intimately to think outside the box. What could you accomplish if you made the room for innovation? It deserves some thought.

This week: Take some time to consider what you would like to be different in your workplace. Be curious. What makes no sense? What is draining you and your team? What might be frustrating your customers? Bring it out in the open and talk about it with those involved. Talk about possible solutions and innovations. Don’t go down the rabbit hole; rather, create from the chaos. Make room for innovation and watch for the cascading effects to the bottom line.

In Next Week’s Post: The value of people

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