Give your organization an infusion of innovation, or what I can coming to call “Vitamin I.”

The body needs key nutrients to stay healthy and so does your organization. Innovation is key to present and future vitality.

Innovation will:

Drive engagement

Create interest and enthusiasm

Demonstrate that your organization is a learning organization

Put inclusion and diversity into action

Help retain top talent (they feel that they have a place to use their talents and grow)

Create opportunities for you and others to be inspiring leaders

You can start by:

Inspiring your team. Talk about the potential you see in them as a team and for your organization. Tell them how proud you are of them and how excited you are about what you all can create next.

Preparing your team. Remind them that innovation is about applied creativity, everyone has something to contribute, and that challenging the status quo is what healthy teams do.

Refreshing your team. Bring in some new content or process expertise that might be applicable. Technology is growing by leaps and bounds in all fields so bring in the latest thinking that might give you some information to connect some new dots. This might include things like the best thinking around manufacturing automation, additive manufacturing, new recycling tech, AI/ML, new economic trends, or new government programs to support R&D in your space. Actively provide new information that your team can use.

Listening to your team. This one is sometimes hard for leaders. But if you are going to ask people to be more innovative, you are going to have to listen. Ask good questions to get clarity. Help people develop their ideas. Encourage them through your line of questioning to improve the cost and benefit profile of their idea along with ways to improve fit with the mission. You are doing this well if both parties feel good about a conversation that started with something akin to “Hey boss, I’ve got a great idea.”

Many of us take a multivitamin. It helps make sure we get essential nutrition even when we are living busy, active lives.  A focus on innovation can play the same role.

Get some Vitamin I in your organization. Keep things fresh and vibrant. You will feel better about the results you are creating, and the team will too.

And let me know your tips and tricks to keep things fresh with your team. I want to know!