The CFO Alliance Blog

Keep the Entrepreneurial Spirit Alive by Nurturing Innovation within your Enterprise

This is the fourth blog in a series of posts written by May Van, Executive Coach at Kelleher Associates, on the importance of fostering an innovative culture in today's business society. 

It is human nature to be resistant to change. Even at organizations known for innovation, stagnation can creep in. An enterprise-wide culture of innovation is the only antidote to the possible malaise.

A culture of innovation can be developed and sustained in many ways, some practices are simple to implement. Many companies install a suggestion box and reward the suggestions resulting in better ways of doing things. Others encourage nominations from rank and files of coworkers who have come up with good ideas. The key to success on this type of approach is for ideas to be acknowledged, if not practiced. The fastest way to kill a culture of innovation is by never implementing any of the ideas submitted.

Many companies, with innovation as a strategic play, make a big splash on innovation. They hold annual or bi-annual innovation competitions where employees from all functions are encouraged to form teams and submit ideas that could make products, processes, and the customer experience cheaper, better and faster. There is a formal and transparent evaluation process. A ceremony is held where the winning teams are recognized and financial awards are presented by the CEO and other senior executives. Many times, leaders of the innovative ideas are identified as high potential employees and provided with formal leadership development training and exposure.

The CFO Alliance Q3 Roundtable will focus on business growth and innovation strategies and the risks associated with the implementation of these strategies. Join us in your major market, or for our Roundup webinar, to learn the strategies your peers have utilized to nurture innovation in their enterprises.

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