How to inspire innovation in your employees

According to McKinsey & Company and its global innovation survey, innovation is critical to growth, particularly as the speed of business cycles continues to increase. Most companies understand the importance of innovation, but fall short when it comes to execution. "We define innovation as creativity plus delivery, helping our clients transform their innovation performance by focusing on four requirements for innovating at scale: strategy, pipeline of ideas, execution, and organization."

Following a multiyear study comprising in-depth interviews, workshops, and surveys of more than 2,500 executives in over 300 companies, including both performance leaders and laggards, in a broad set of industries and countries, the company discovered the ingredients that lead to innovation.

Since innovation is a complex, company-wide endeavor, it requires a set of crosscutting practices and processes to structure, organize, and encourage it. The first four, which are strategic and creative in nature, help set and prioritize the terms and conditions under which innovation is more likely to thrive. The next four essentials deal with how to deliver and organize for innovation repeatedly over time and with enough value to contribute meaningfully to overall performance.

Who are those essentials? Aspire,Choose, Discover,Evolve,Accelerate, Scale, Extend, Mobilize.

Even there is no proven formula for success, particularly when it comes to innovation, McKinsey & Company's representatives firmly believe that if companies assimilate and apply these essentials—in their own way, in accordance with their particular context, capabilities, organizational culture, and appetite for risk—they will improve the likelihood that they, too, can rekindle the lost spark of innovation. In the digital age, the pace of change has gone into hyperspeed, so companies must get these strategic, creative, executional, and organizational factors right to innovate successfully.

One can read more on the subject here.

How this transfer to the employees? According to Forbes, there are three tools that can inspire innovation to the employees: giving employees the permission to learn, motivating people to go places they wouldn’t otherwise go and sharing experiences across management lines. "Asking employees to keep a Best Practice Journal is another way to inspire employees to learn by observing what’s happening around them. Ask your people to document examples of great performance as they see it happening out in the world and make time for sharing these observations at regular staff meetings," added Mark Murphy for Forbes.

Another set of great ideas may be found here.