If corporations want to remain in the forefront and thriving, than innovation and flexibility to the current demands of the market will be key. In business, innovation often results when the company applies ideas in order to further satisfy the needs and expectations of the customers. Therefore, innovation is synonymous with risk-taking and organizations that create revolutionary products or technologies take on the greatest risk because they create new markets (Business Dictionary)
The epitome of innovation by today’s standards would be technology giant, Apple. At present, Apple has the so-called “Innovation Factory”. Through the latter, Apple is able to harness uncontrolled creativity. Their team of specialists is able to come up with new innovations that are profitable through stimulating bold ideas (Innovation Strategy at Apple).
However, in order for Apple to be seen as innovative, they had to first create an environment where creativity and freethinking could thrive among it’s employees. According to Peter Senge (1990), developing a learning organization requires a major “shift of mind” toward a more participative and holistic notion of effective organizing (Eisenberg, Trethewey, LeGreco, & Goodall, 2017, p. 112).
As an entrepreneur, and creativity consultant, I would argue that any corporation would need to do at least 3 of the following if they plan on benefitting from the rewards of innovation…(1) The ability to create a culture of innovation, (2) Re-humanizing the work, and (3) Maximizing current talent (Forbes Coaches Council, 2017). I believe each of these concepts is necessary for an organization to thrive in today’s market.
Let’s look at the first suggestion, regarding creating a culture of innovation. Employees have to be able to feel like the environments in which they work, are conducive for coming up with ideas that are not regulated and or restricted by management. Dialogue “starts with the willingness to challenge our own thinking, to recognize that any certainty we have is, at best, a hypothesis about the world” (Senge, 1990, p. 277).
When we examine what Re-humanizing the work looks like, it revolves around monopolizing a safe space for creating ideas. Innovation is born of creativity and vulnerability. People need to feel safe to fail in order to be both creative and vulnerable. Therefore, ensure all leadership, including the CIO, keeps humanity at the center of the work. Build trust intentionally, prioritize learning, create inclusive development space, and model behavior that illuminates the humanity of risk and failure (Forbes Coach Council, 2017). Ultimately, there is no reward without risk, and people cannot be afraid of failing if a corporation is looking to reap rewards from the services it generates and or produces.
Lastly, what good is an organization that creates a culture of innovation and humanization, only to have its top talent leave due to lack of personal incentives that reflect their hard work? Ironically, this is essentially where maximizing talent comes into play; otherwise, management will spend the bulk of their time training new talent rather than improving training for existing talent. Karl Weick addresses this in his Sense – Making model through retention. By “retention” Weick means that successful sense-making strategies get saved for future use (Eisenberg, Trethewey, LeGreco, & Goodall, 2017, p. 113). Often the challenge is not having innovative people or ideas, but rather identifying the people and ideas. Many of the best innovations percolate from the bottom to the top of organizations. Hence, organizations can best foster innovation and collaboration by having a culture of knowledge sharing (Forbes Coaches Council, 2017).
Interesting enough, the same way that plants are only able to thrive and grow in certain settings via room temperature, sunlight, and water, is a parallel look at how people need certain factors to be present in their work environments to be successful also.
Business Dictionary, 2019, Retrieved from
Eisenberg, E., Trethewey, A., LeGreco, M., Goodall, H. L., (2017). Organizational
Communication: Balancing Creativity and Constraint, (8th Ed). Boston MA; Bedford/St. Martins.
Forbes Coaches Council, 2017, “What can your Organization do to become more Innovative” Retrieved from
Marketing Slides, “Innovation Strategy at Apple”, Retrieved from http://sales- management-slides.com/innovation-strategy-at-apple/