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Fostering Innovation – Kirsty Buggins

April 6th, 2014

There is much talk about innovation in the social care sector today.  Who is practicing it, the need for it, the models for it, how to get it?

But what is innovation and how do you foster it in your organisation?

Innovation is the creation of something that is new and has positive impact.

It is something fresh, a different solution to a current problem. At the very least, it must be better than what is already in place. It can even offer an idea so new that we didn’t know we had the problem until the solution was offered.
When I think about how to foster innovation within an organisation, I find myself thinking about how to create innovative, effective teams.  Because one of the most important things to understand about innovation is that it rarely happens as a result of isolation.

Innovation is far more likely to result from communication and community, through the celebration of diverse viewpoints, from constructive controversy and intelligent decision-making.

Organisations can foster innovation by developing structures that empower and support; by rewarding the development of new ideas and accepting risk; by managing dysfunction and through encouraging on-going professional development.

Innovative, effective teams are united by a common purpose. They are collaborative and productive. They are agile. They understand the potential for failure when trying something new and are mindful of this, but not paralysed by it. They are empowered and members feel energised by the interactions.

“Humanness does not weaken business. It strengthens in. It cements the relationship upon which the teamwork and innovation must rest… Teamwork and trust are seen as vital components of world-class entrepreneurs of today” Nelson Mandela