Creating a Culture of Innovation

Characteristics of an innovative employee

Innovation refers to the process of coming up with a new, technically feasible products that can generate economic value. The traits of an innovative employee include the possession of a visionary view when facing challenges and in trying to find solutions to problems. Other characteristics of an innovative person entail an individual who is open to new ideas, persistent in their doings, proactive in searching for new ideas and converting them to produce economic value and a person with an intrinsic interest in their work. Conversely, an innovative employee should have some abilities such as skills to share knowledge with others efficiently, should have a good understanding of technologies and products, and the ability to socialize. More employee resources for innovation include cognition, whereby an individual should be generally intelligent, possess cognitive skills and mental processes. In addition, an innovative individual must possess adequate knowledge in a particular domain including understanding their job roles, what the job requires of them, and should be highly motivated since creative people enjoy discovering new things and finding solutions to their challenges.

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Leadership Qualities of a Good Employee

Communication skills- A good leader ought to have excellent communication skills to explain concepts to employees clearly and succinctly. Leaders always communicate organizational goals, allocate duties, and receive ideas and complaints from both clients and employees and therefore, should be able to master all forms of communication. Furthermore, a good leader should have active listening skills since a significant part of communication entails listening (Anderson et al., 2014). They should also be readily available to discuss issues affecting an organization and should avoid ambiguity in their communication. Good leaders possess excellent verbal and written communication skills.

Motivation-A good leader should be highly motivated to inspire the spirit across all employees in an organization. Employees respond to duties depending on how the leader does. It is, therefore, crucial that a leader leads by example by being on top of everything and ensuring that they are positive in making decisions. Leaders ought to make their employees motivated, in high spirits, and should be positive to make employees believe in their ability to deliver positive results even when facing challenging tasks.  Other skills related to motivation include mentoring, convincing, encouraging employee autonomy, and setting practical goals.

Ways of Fostering Creativity and Innovation in a Company

The ability of employees to become and remain innovative depends on whether the companies’ culture supports innovation. Some of the ways to ensure that the company’s culture fosters innovation and creativity includes enhancing collaboration and communication across all structures and hierarchies within an organization. Leaders should also facilitate the free flow of communication among workers, in addition to encouraging employees to pursue ideas independently (Amabile & Pratt, 2016). The management should also avail resources for exploration of ideas. For instance, some companies encourage their employees by reducing the procedures set for one to access the financial support needed for trying out new ideas. Other companies like Netflix have also simplified the procedures for taking leaves to pursue ideas and even pay the workers while they are away (Anderson et al., 2014). The management also needs to formulate mechanisms of rewarding innovative individuals in the company.

Theories and Approaches to Management

Classical Organizational Theory

The classical view of management is traced to the period of the industrial revolution. The argument is based on the efficiency and productivity of employees regardless of their behavioral attributes. The theory portrayed an organization as a machine and humans as part of that machine. In its view, making humans more efficient results in the organization being more efficient. The theory emphasizes on the specialization and coordination of activities within an organization. The approach combines some aspects of the scientific theory, administrative theory, and the bureaucratic theory. The scientific theory is based on the availability of best equipment and personnel and then keenly analyzing the individual’s components used in production. Conversely, the bureaucratic theory involves creating a hierarchical structure of power. On the other hand, the administrative theory entails establishing universal management principles, which all organizations may find meaningful.

Neoclassical

`The theory is a reaction to the structure of the classical theory. The neoclassical approach is based on the emotions of the employees while at work, whereby all employers need to make employees happier if they are to improve productivity. Happiness is believed to impact positively on creativity, growth, and motivation. The approach emphasizes viewing an organization situation in social, technical, and economic terms. The theory addresses the limitations of the classical theory, and by being related to the classical theory, it suffers several drawbacks experienced in the classical theory.

Modern Organizational Theory

The modern organization theory has a conceptual and analytical base that relies on empirical research data and is integrated with nature. The theory is illustrated through the systems approach and the contingency approach. The systems theory is based on the belief that all components of an organization are correlated and thus, a change on a single part affects the whole system. The system is further believed to exist in a state of dynamic equilibrium, and therefore, it keeps on changing depending on the current environment and circumstances. On the contrary, the contingency approach is based on the belief that there is no ideal leadership style for all organizations because different organizations experience unique challenges. In the approach, the authority of a manager is crucial, especially for the competitive industries since the productivity of an organization is subject to the manager’s ability to adapt to changes in the environment.

Cultural Differences in Leadership Styles

Autocratic style-this style of leadership involves the leader setting up rules for the employees without the contribution of the employees and expects the employees to follow them. The style is instrumental when handling a natural disaster but not active businesses.

Bureaucratic style- This style entails the leader making all critical decisions regarding employees across all departments. The leaders using the style prefer to maintain professionalism by distancing themselves from the employees.

Charismatic style- Charismatic leadership style involves a leader who wishes to establish an organization with employees who believe in the vision of the leader. The leader nurtures employees to view a task and the goals from their perspective and then inspires them to work towards achieving the goal (Amabile & Pratt, 2016).

Democratic style- Democratic leadership style involves collaboration between management and employees, and therefore, all staff members get a chance to contribute to making decisions. Collaborating with subordinate staffs boosts the morale of the employees and thus, increasing their job satisfaction. Job satisfaction contributes significantly to increased productivity within a firm. 

Control Systems that can improve firms operations

An example of the use of technological resources as control systems to facilitate change and improve the productivity of an organization is experienced in assessing the performance of an organization. The process entails using technological devices to gather information from various sources. From the results obtained, after analyzing the data, the management can make decisions that would benefit the organization. There also exist smart inventory control systems, which assist the management in reducing inventory levels while increasing profitability and also speeding up the time before responding to a client. It also enables the management to track down the status of an order and the stage of processing in which an inventory is at a specific time.

References

Amabile, T. M., & Pratt, M. G. (2016). The dynamic componential model of creativity and innovation in organizations: Making progress, making meaning. Research in Organizational Behavior, 36, 157-183.Anderson, N., Potočnik, K., & Zhou, J. (2014). Innovation and creativity in organizations: A state-of-the-science review, prospective commentary, and guiding framework. Journal of Management, 40(5), 1297-1333.

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