Innovative companies understand that innovation is a commitment. Being innovative requires allocating resources to innovation. For example, with item number one on this list – being willing to reinvent your company’s image – such reinvention requires putting in man hours and money to launch in a positive, new direction. Item number two on this list – allowing physical space for innovation – requires the obvious financial input necessary to renovate or make physical changes.
Even if you aren’t going to reinvent your company today or create a new physical space for innovation, allowing the mental space for innovation requires some funding. Specifically, if you want your employees to innovate, you must realize that they will spend less time doing other things. Part of your employees’ salaries will be going toward innovative thinking. While this is less of an immediate financial commitment than rebranding or renovating, it is an important, ongoing commitment.
At 3M, employees can spend 15 percent of their time creating or innovating whatever they want. In fact, Post-It Notes were created by employees during that 15 percent innovation time. Similarly, at Google, employees can spend 20 percent of their time creating whatever they want. As a result, Google has twice been named the most innovative company of the year by Fast Company.