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Lack of Innovation = Poor Productivity

Innovation_Wordle.jpgJohn Armstrong reported his impression today on Canada's lack of innovation.

After highlighting Canada's drop in productivity compared to the US, and the difference between innovation and invention, he describes four imperatives that he feels business must do if they want to drive innovation:

  1. Develop strategies and approaches to serve your “hardest” customers.
  2. Connect with universities, research centres and entrepreneurs focused on your industry.
  3. Drive an innovation mindset into all levels of the organization.
  4. Make innovation a board-level priority and an explicit part of management’s scorecard.

 

As managers we need to consider each of these innovation drivers.

Personally, I believe John's third point is the key to achieving higher levels of productivity and job satisfaction in our organizations. Innovation is not the purview of think tanks and the deep thinker in the back office. Innovation must be the background thought in every employee if organizations are to be consistently successful. This mindset must be instilled and enabled by management through all levels so employees ask themselves, "How can we do this better?", or "safer?", or "with a higher quality?".

As managers we need to recognize that our employees and colleagues will be the most consistent source of innovation to be spawned in our organizations. We need to nurture this mindset at all levels.

If you are a manager, this topic should interests you. Check out John Armstrong's detailed commentary and notes on his four imperatives.

(John Armstrong is a member of the Ontario Task Force on Competitiveness, Productivity and Economic Growth.)