DWEN Powerhouse Summit Logo - Stacked

Cúpula da casa de força

How to Create an
Innovative Workplace

How to Create an Environment Where Innovation Flourishes

What organizations must do to encourage breakthrough ideas and ensure they have the chance to grow

For many entrepreneurs, breakthrough innovations seem to appear out of the ether, mysterious in origin and almost magical in their power. They understand that new ideas are crucial to organizations’ success but are not sure how to generate and foster them.

Breakthrough innovation was the focus of a recent panel at the Cúpula de potência da rede de empreendedores femininos da Dell in conjunction with Empresa Rápida e a Inc. Business leaders from a variety of industries provided perspective into where breakthroughs come from, how they can be encouraged, and the importance of challenging the business practices, systems, and services that have been used in the past. They also explored the human and organizational dynamics of innovation. Here are four key insights gleaned from the discussion.

1. Lean into your staff’s passion and interests.

Innovation is most likely to occur in a very specific environment, one where team members’ passions are engaged and combined with the strengths and purpose of an organization. “I look at where purpose, passion, and skill collide in a Venn diagram,” said Amy Jo Martin, fundadora e CEO da Renegade Global, which helps companies and individuals unlock creativity. “If we operate in that unique intersection, innovation is going to happen.”

According to Jasmine Crowe-Houston, founder and CEO of Goodr, which uses technology to help food-service companies reduce, rescue, and divert food that might otherwise go to landfills, companies innovate when they encourage employees to focus on their passions and interests. “If we want to get different results, we have got to do different things,” she said. “Let’s have big goals. There are no bad ideas.”

Innovation flourishes when people are doing what they care about and having fun, said Amber Allen, CEO of Double A Labs, an enterprise metaverse platform. “Loveless innovation is an oxymoron. Ask yourself, What are we great at? What do we love?”

2. Accept and normalize failure.

Think of a new program as an experiment, Martin said. Reframing an initiative as a trial provides space for ideas to grow. “If we look at an initiative like a Petri dish and we write beta on the side, everybody just kind of backs up a little bit,” she said. “They say, ‘Oh, it’s in beta, let’s let it breathe a little.’ ”

This mindset acknowledges that there will be failures on the way to success. “You have to embrace that you’re going to fail,” Allen said. “We even have a failure award in the company that allows for people who fail to create a deck as a recap: here’s what happened and why it didn’t work. It’s not failure if all of us learn from it.” 

3. Create a safe space.

Accepting failure as part of the process is an element of creating a safe space for innovators. Breakthroughs are enabled when people feel supported in trying new things. “If we don’t have the mentality of building a psychologically safe environment together as teammates, there’s zero chance we’re going to take risks together, Martin said. “Because every time we innovate, there’s a likelihood it’s not going to work. If people trust one another, if they like one another, if they’re showing up as their full selves, they’re going to be performing better together.”

Such an environment is particularly important to innovation because ideas come when different people in different roles come together. “Innovation isn’t going to come just from engineers and product managers,” Crowe-Houston said. “We all have a word in what we’re going to build, and I always make space for those words to be heard.”

4. Dare to dream.

Supporting team members is important because, at its core, innovation is about being brave and trying something that hasn’t been done before. “Sometimes you must be willing to say, ‘This doesn’t exist. I have to create it, ’ ” Martin said.

Crowe-Houston did just that when her company challenged the traditional way of feeding people and disposing of food. Goodr provides food-service providers such as restaurants and airports with a digital platform to help them track and reduce food waste. Goodr also helps those clients donate nutritious food to hunger relief and divert inedible food for organic recycling. “Technology is solving some of the world’s biggest problems,” she said. “So I questioned why we weren’t using technology to get food to people who don’t know where their next meal is coming from.”

Innovation needs to be the norm for organizations that hope to thrive in today’s fast-changing social, technological, and economic environment. “The second you start to feel like you’re coasting, you’re way behind,” Martin said. “We really look to each other and say, ‘What are we not thinking of? What would this look like if. . . ?’ We continuously have to have a culture of there are no rules.”

Não esqueça de conferir também nosso Página do DWEN Powerhouse Summit para saber mais sobre o evento e ter acesso total aos nossos vídeos sob demanda!

Português do Brasil