“Encourage employees to communicate their ideas without the fear of judgement or failure”

Shilip Kumar, President, Henkel - India on creating a culture of innovation

Published 7 months ago on May 08, 2020 Read

Invest in the right talent: Staying at the cutting edge of innovation requires the right mindset in terms of allocating capital and attracting people. Adopting an inconsistent approach in terms of not hiring the right talent or skimping on research and development short-circuits future progress.

Celebrate ideas: Encourage employees to communicate their ideas without the fear of judgement or failure. Acknowledge every idea, encourage discussion around the pros and cons and revert with feedback. With such encouragement, the potential to innovate multiplies manifold.

Create an “Enabling” environment: If an employee comes up with an innovative idea, which requires time for further development, provide them the flexibility to do so. Opportunities thus provided create their own reinforcement cycle and conveys to employees that the organisation is open to new ideas.

Cross pollinate: Employees across departments should compete and collaborate in equal measure to challenge the status quo. Opportunities to innovate increase exponentially when organisations work together in cross-functional teams, while chasing big-picture goals.

Pursue external collaboration: Forge mutually beneficial partnerships with external entities such as universities, research institutes or start-ups. Such joint ventures can be used to nurture and test new ideas and products. These symbiotic relationships help in diversifying risk and magnify the brain pool.


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