There’s no easy recipe for innovation, but I’m pretty sure it starts with a big idea. Here are five ingredients for creating an environment where big ideas thrive.
- Fearlessness. Make it OK to share any idea. You gotta get through a lot of stinkers to get to the gems. (And to know the difference between the two.)
- Critical debate. Encourage open discussion, evaluation and (gasp!) even criticism of ideas.
- Diversity of opinions and approaches. Bring newcomers, veterans and unusual suspects together for fresh perspectives.
- Experimentation. If you don’t pursue the good ideas, there’s no converting them to impact.
- Celebration. Because everyone needs an ‘Attaboy! every once in a while.
Chances are you have a staff member who’s dying to share a big idea or two-elve and maybe even become your CIO—chief innovation officer. With the right mix of these ingredients, you might make a whole team of innovators.