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Innovation and Engagement Roundup

We here at SoapBox read quite a lot of articles on innovation and employee engagement over the course of the work week.

Here are some of the best must-reads we’ve spotted in the last few weeks in our innovation and engagement roundup.

Leadership entrepreneur Chris Cancialosi has a good piece of Forbes about giving your organization a shot of innovation. One of the key takeaways is that creating a culture of innovation isn’t a one-shot deal but rather a continuous process.

Companies that are truly innovative are not necessarily consciously doing things to “be innovative.” Rather, they value at their core, certain things that drive innovative behavior and the result is innovation.

It’s really a culture issue- something that resides in the deep recesses of the collective subconscious that guides people by saying, “Hey, these behaviors that are usually associated with innovation- those are really good behaviors in this organization and we really value them.”

Creating a culture of innovation is more about building an engine of employee behaviors within your organization. But, even the most well intentioned engines of innovation can stall unless you continuously provide the right fuel to support those behaviors.

He also does a great job of highlighting how the changes in work behaviour that encourage innovation must be recognized for them to turn into the gift that keeps on giving.

Tim Kuppler over on the SAP blog has a great entry on the five myths about cultural change.

One of those myths is that it will take a while before results from improved culture will appear. Not so, says Kuppler.

Yes, culture change clearly takes time, but initial efforts to engage the organization in improving plans and specific behaviors holding back progress related to a specific problem, challenge, or goal will often lead to positive initial results.

Results or consequences are necessary for any new cultural attribute to form. If team members don’t associate new behaviors, habits, systems, or other changes with improved results in a relatively short period of time, it’s unlikely new behavior will take hold.

He argues that, when improving culture, it’s best not to make that the target in and of itself. Rather, the focus should be on a specific problem, challenge, or goal which will then build positive momentum.

Meanwhile,  Yanyong Thammatucharee with Thai consumer goods company Central Marketing Group blogs about eliminating barriers to change. He underlines the importance of employee engagement, saying:

Employee engagement: Management should get key employees involved in any changes to be made. This can be in the form of consultation or a committee. Listening to comments and suggestions from employees is a critical success factor. Top-down change can cause wrong implications and lead to misperceptions.

He writes that companies looking to change must make sure they’re communicating well with their employees who will determine whether that shift is successful or not.

Harness the power of employee ideas.