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The Innovation Cycle: 4 Ways to Maintain Momentum

Keeping an air of innovation and inspiration alive in the workplace can be a difficult task, but there are ways for leaders to keep the momentum going once the spark has been lit.

Vanessa Belmonte
Vanessa Belmonte

Keeping an air of innovation and inspiration alive in the workplace can be a difficult task, but there are ways for leaders to keep the momentum going once the spark has been lit.

While your teams have their heads down at their desks working on your core business, technological advances—and the accompanying opportunities for disruption—are happening more quickly than ever.

Even organizations who are ahead of the curve are conducting regular programs focused on education, and replanting the seeds of inspiration and innovation.

Innovation is not a one-off initiative. Adopting an exponential mindset means changing the company culture while living and breathing your Massive Transformative Purpose (MTP). Core and Edge innovation teams need autonomy to experiment and innovate without the corporate immune system breathing down their necks, at the same time they need access to company resources. It’s a balancing act.

After an organization completes an ExO Sprint or Workshop, there's more work to be done.

It's now time for the executive team to champion these new initiatives to keep the momentum going. At this post-Sprint stage, ExO Works re-engages with the client, either taking an on-demand approach or scheduling regular quarterly sessions to re-align leadership and check in on the initiatives.

Keeping innovation at the top of the leadership’s priority list is important for multiple reasons:

1. A Spark of Inspiration

According to the most recent "State of the American Workplace" report by Gallup, only 30 percent of the U.S workforce is engaged in their work.

So how can leaders engage, or re-engage, their workforce? According to the study, after an uplifting interaction, everyone leaves with a jolt of energy and inspiration. But what impact did that have on their mindset? Slowly, after a few weeks, they get back to their normal routine.

Leaders can keep the spark of inspiration alive within their organization by bringing in speakers, launching an internal initiative, or hosting a workshop to galvanize their employees.

2. Information Overload

Start-ups and technological advances are surfacing at an alarming rate. One hundred million businesses are launched annually, according to the 2015/2016 GEM Global Report.

Organizations are feeling the sense of urgency to not only update their innovation strategy, but keep up with all the potential disruptive threats and opportunities on the horizon.

Leaders can seek help filtering what matters most to their organization and industry by tapping into a resource that’s well-equipped in this field, which is why our global network of ExO advisors is so helpful to so many organizations.

Newsletters, social media accounts, conferences, workshops, and consultants are just some of the other ways to seek out and filter relevant content.

3. Education Is Key

A few months or years pass, and so do those skill sets one studied so hard to learn or implement.

Even with a degree, a certification, or an intense 10-week course on the books, the mind can get stagnant and skill sets start to fade. To avoid tunnel vision or an antiquated approach, educating newcomers and re-educating seasoned employees is best left to specialists or practitioners outside of your organization.

Supporting education initiatives facilitates thinking outside of the box and investing in your employees.

4. Alignment Check

How often do tires need alignment? Probably the same frequency as your leadership needs to do an alignment check.

C-Suites, along with managers, should be involved in recurring alignment meetings.

  • Is everyone aligned on the objectives and key results (OKRs)?
  • Is the Massive Transformative Purpose (MTP) leading all decisions?
  • Are updated resources being allocated to the innovation teams?

These are all questions and objectives that the right specialists should bring to the table.

This article was originally featured on the ExO Works site on July 25, 2018.

In a transforming world, your organization needs to be constantly innovating. Our global community is here to assist you to be an Exponential Organization! We offer solutions for Large companies, Small/Medium companies, Non-Profits, and Government institutions. Find out more here. 
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Creative Consultant, Founder of Culture Climax