Encouraging Innovation

Posted by Elise Mitchell on January 4, 2010

iStock_000008542224XSmallThe start of a new year always fosters fresh thinking on my part and a little dreaming as well. What challenges and opportunities lie ahead? What can we do better this year than last? How can we raise the bar for our clients, our employees, our profession?

The answer is the same – there is plenty to do and likely there have never been as many opportunities to leverage.

One of my resolutions for 2010 is to encourage innovation. We are blessed with a talented, determined staff at MCG, and I have no doubt there are many new ideas dancing around in their heads all the time. This year, I intend to capture our team’s innovative thinking when the sparks are flying. One of the best ways to do that is to recognize when innovation occurs. Well known management expert, the late Peter Drucker, cited four ways opportunities most often arise in companies and industries through:

  • Incongruities;
  • Unexpected occurrences;
  • Process-driven improvement; and
  • Paradigm shifts.

By doing a few simple things, you can foster a spirit of innovation among your team that will help you accomplish what you dream of for 2010.

  • Be more aware of when these four types of opportunities are upon you and take the time to ask “why” and “what if.”
  • Be curious.
  • Make the time to pursue great ideas with equal parts rigor and passion.
  • Read more.
  • Be willing to take some risk to try a fresh approach.

For a little innovation inspiration, you can read more on Drucker in the November 2009 issue of Harvard Business Review.

Topics: Mitchell Team