6 Steps to Creating an Innovative Environment

light bulb symbolizing ideas generated in an innovative environment

Table of Contents


By Tara Powers

The work environment you create with your team is a key component of innovation. As a leader, you must commit to practicing innovation and be persistent doing it. It is human nature to take the path of least resistance or stick to doing what we know. Making innovative thinking part of your team culture is the only way to achieve breakthroughs.

Here are 6 Steps To Creating an Innovative Environment:

  • Role Model: Ask powerful questions, engage in creative thinking, and use tools and exercises to get people “out of the box”.
  • Dish Out Recognition: Recognize the right things including when mistakes move you to another level.
  • Make it Safe to Explore: Let it be okay to explore new or even crazy ideas. Talk about what is “beyond” possible and what you can see or the resources you currently have.
  • Provide Time & Resources: Give people the time and space to be innovative and they will. Provide spaces, technology or outside resources for people to innovate.
  • Always Search For The Second Right Answer: Get in the habit of always searching for the 2nd and 3rd right answer. Never stop at the first right answer. This is what limits innovative thinking. No one has all the answers on the first try!
  • Make It a Goal or Strategy: Make innovation an expectation or a way that you do business.

Application: Consider if these 6 steps are present in your team environment and which one you can focus on to make small changes that will create big shifts in innovative thinking. If you’d like some help with innovative thinking on your team, we’ve developed several creative programs to get you there.

Our DiSC® Work of Leaders helps give your leadership team the tools and knowledge they need to promote a more innovative workplace.

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