So your organization swears by Innovation. Every interview of your senior management team touches upon ‘Innovation as the need of the hour’. In globalized commoditization of products and services, innovation is the common theme across organizations.
But are you Innovative? The more important question is, does your organization support the culture of Innovation? I think the answer to the last question can be found in the annual review system.
I have seen different appraisal / employee review systems throughout my career. I feel they were all based on the number of points you get for your achievements. This point system does not tell me to what extent the person tried. I think for managers and above, one key question that should be introduced in such system should be to “Tell about 2 key initiatives in which you have failed”.
Innovation is a function of right culture and processes. Management should be aware of the risks managers are taking and the new ideas / opportunities managers are trying. Without this question, employees tend to minimize trying new things and avoid risks / uncertainties. Without this question, there will not be any push to get out of the comfort zone.
As put by Jess Bezos – “If you want to be inventive — you have to be willing to fail.”
Or by IBM founder, Thomas Watson, “Go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because, remember that’s where you’ll find success. On the far side.”
You can try this single question survey: http://www.decisionstrat.com/surveys/index.php?sid=15323&lang=en