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What Should Big Companies Do To Keep Innovative Spirits Alive In Their Employees

Updated on July 2, 2014

Sometimes, large companies announce big changes and they assign several reasons such as streamlining things like decision making, etc. for announcing these decisions. Experts call these steps as those that can help produce only "incremental innovations." According to these experts, incremental innovations may help only in increasing profits or making improvements in the operations as well as in the products. But when unexpected things happen in the market, these incremental innovations may be of no use. Therefore, they suggest that big corporates should adopt the strategies of start-up companies and try to come out with breakthrough innovations that may catapult them to dizzy heights.

But the unfortunate fact is that employees of big and established companies may have a psychology that is completely different from what the owners or the motivated employees of start-ups have. Founding a new company or joining a start-up company as an employee is nothing but a belief the founders or the employees of the company have in themselves. They may also believe that they can pull it up, translate their goals into reality and the make their company a success.

If you observe the working style of these start-ups, you will find that they will not hesitate to pitch in at the appropriate time. They will also slog for longer hours even though they know that in the initial months or years, they do not have financial security. They are willing to take calculated risks but their belief in their new venture is so strong that they will not rest till they achieve what they want.

On the contrary, employees of established companies have a completely different risk sense because they know they are financially secure. Of course, they also want the company to grow but their motivation comes just from the challenges they face in the functions assigned to them. They may also be motivated by the desire to grow in their career. Therefore, employees working for big and established companies focus more on preserving their jobs or advancing in their careers rather than making breakthrough innovations.

The fact is that it may be very difficult to change the mindset of big and established companies and make them behave like start-up companies. It is the growth they have already seen that may have blunted their urge to innovate. There are a few other ways using which big companies can fuel the innovative spirit among their employees.

Setting Up A Venture Fund

Big companies can motivate those employees with new ideas to start their own ventures by helping them with the required capital. But they should make sure that the ideas are related to their existing line of business.

Organize Innovation Contests Regularly

Employees may find this interesting because there is no threat to their jobs. When they apply their minds with a focus, they may come out with several great ideas.

Reach Outward

Companies can collaborate with universities, research institutes or even their customers and leverage all their networks for having breakthrough innovations.

Cultivate A Discovery Culture In The Employees

Employees may be afraid to express their ideas because if their innovative ideas fail, their very existence in the company or their career growth may be affected. The managements of these companies should remove this fear from the minds of their employees. They should rather assure the employees that they need not be afraid of failures. Whether the ideas work or fail, the managements should reward them if the ideas are good and unique. In short, employees should feel that whatever calculated risks they take will be rewarded regardless of the fact whether those risks produce the expected results or fail.


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