As a leader, what can you do to help foster innovation?
It is believed that R&D leaders must address six key dimensions:
1. Clarity: Is it clear what kind of innovation is expected and how that relates to the big picture? Does my team know how much innovation I would welcome and how it could improve the company?
2. Flexibility: Are new ideas welcome? Do I set an example and a culture of openness to learning? Have we eliminated unnecessary red tape?
3. Responsibility: Do employees have the autonomy and authority to work without interference? Is reasonable risk-taking encouraged? Am I calm and encouraging when the inevitable disappointments occur?
4. Team Commitment: Do people feel they’re in it together, working for a larger purpose? Do team members collaborate well? When someone has a partly usable idea, do I encourage the team to help develop it?
5. Standards: Are goals clear and specified? Are our performance standards realistic and “open-ended” enough to encourage innovation?
6. Rewards: Is excellent performance recognized and rewarded? Do I recognize not only my direct reports, but also those who are a level or two lower in the organization? Do I involve my manager in recognizing my group’s innovations?
(Abstract from the source: “What’s Eating Big Pharma Innovators?” by Matt Gurin, U.S. Reward Practice Leader, Hay Group)
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