To create a culture of innovation, start by creating an innovation infrastructure, advises Rowan Gibson. Appoint an "innovation czar" to oversee your company's creativity, along with part-time "innovation mentors" and full-time "innovation consultants" to coach and support future innovators.
To come up with genuinely transformational ideas, it's vital to allow some chaos to enter your creative planning, then let the chips fall where they may, writes Russell Raath. "Innovation does not come out of a controlled situation. If you want more innovation, allow more chaos," he explains.
Just half of senior managers and 38% of employees have the skills needed to leverage data gathered from suppliers and customers, according to a report by the Corporate Executive Board. The CEB built the "Insight IQ" index to measure employees' ability to locate and analyze relevant information to make decisions. The report provides guidance for businesses based on how companies with high Insight IQ use their data.
To keep your company's innovators on their toes, it's worth staging an "innovation audit" periodically, writes Michael Plishka. Figure out which groups need to drive innovation in your organization, then ask employees in those areas questions focusing on the problems your firm faces and the technologies and methods needed to overcome them. "If you can't really answer a question, it shows that your organization is most likely weak in that area," Plishka writes.