Innovation, or the discovery and implementation of new ideas, is essential to the growth and success of your association. Simply asking for ideas from your association’s members and staff can be chaotic and become more of a competition than something that furthers your mission, so finding ways to effectively encourage innovation in the workplace is key.
Define a Strategy
One of the first things you should think about when planning an environment of innovation is defining a clear, practical strategy. Similar to creating a mission, defining your strategy is about deciding on a goal and figuring out where you see your association and your relationship between members, employees, and board members in the future. Reach out among your colleagues to answer questions and brainstorm future goals and ideal checkpoints that can help inspire your association’s growth.
Open Communication & Cross-Collaborate
During this brainstorming process, create an open and approachable workplace so that everyone can feel free and comfortable coming forth with ideas. Set aside a certain time slot throughout your week or month for your staff to exchange thoughts and present research-based ideas to one another. Encourage cross-collaboration across departments so that everyone is on the same page and can think outside of their own box to come to a common vision.
Take Appropriate Risks
Although presenting your ideas with supporting data and research is smart, don’t be afraid to take reasonable risks. Thinking outside of the box and employing your association’s strengths and weaknesses when implementing ideas can be essential to your growth and success. Make sure you weigh the pros and cons, but taking appropriate and careful risks will allow you to practice new skills and encourage creative thinking.
Commit to Innovation
Creating an innovative culture at your association means encouraging new ideas and forming a positive energy in the workplace. Continue to find times for sharing ideas, communicating, strategizing, and rewarding creativity in your association and commit to making innovation a main focus among your members, employees, and board members.
Questions about how to encourage innovation in your association or how to better organize your day-to-day process? Contact Dennison & Associates today for a consultation.