Sustaining an innovative environment requires continuously innovative contribution being made to that environment. Leonard-Barton (1995) describes a one method of building and sustaining the sources of innovation through knowledge building activities. The author further explains that this method requires sharing in and creatively solving problems, integrating and implementing new methods and tools to accomplish a stated innovative goal, and trying tested and proven strategies while not being afraid to try a new strategy that has never been used before, kind of a formal and informal experimentation of sorts; and utilizing external sources of expertise. This obviously requires a team effort. Members of the team would have a vital role to play in order to sustain the innovative enterprise even though it may be one team member’s idea that starts the entire process.
Any member could be the leader or all members may have leadership skills and roles that would assist in making sure that the expected innovative goal is always in sight and kept alive in everyone’s view. Deschamps (2013) describes innovation governance as an organized way of supporting goals, distributing resources and designating decision making authority for innovation across throughout the organization and its partners and customers. This is a way of making sure that no one loses sight of the goal including outsiders looking in at the innovation at whatever stage of the process it is in. Be it development, design, implementation or evaluation.
Buckley (n.d.) describes some ways to create and sustain a culture of innovation through immersing two companies’ executives and understanding how both organizations shared similar ways of starting the spark of innovation in the organizations. Accepting failure as part of the process is a way to learn from possible mistakes or just realize that the technique was not what was needed. Avoiding delays when trying an innovative idea is also important as wasting time only means finding out what will or will not work later rather than sooner. Allowing other team members input is vital as no one knows it all. This should be encouraged throughout the organization and creates a culture of innovation through innovative ideas. Encouraging leaders to emerge through innovative processes and allowing these leaders to actually lead is crucial as it contributes to sustaining innovation and all should accept that as humans we are always searching for a better way to do things and this in and of itself is innovation.
Buckley, L. (n.d.) Six Ways to Create—and Sustain—a Culture of Innovation. Retrieved from http://www.whatifinnovation.com/greenhouse/6-ways-to-create-and-sustain-a-culture-of-innovation
Deschamps, J. (2013). What is Innovation Governance? – Definition and Scope. Retrieved from http://www.innovationmanagement.se/2013/05/03/what-is-innovation-governance-definition-and-scope/
Leonard-Barton, D. (1995). Wellsprings of knowledge: Building and sustaining the sources of innovation. Boston, Mass: Harvard Business School Press.