Innovation is close to our hearts here at Econsultancy. It can be difficult to kickstart new projects and to implement change, but dare to dream and amazing things can happen.

Like many companies we’re not short of good ideas, it’s just that executing them can sometimes be a challenge. 

For us this is largely linked to resources and prioritisation, rather than our organisational culture. Other firms have the resources, but lack the gumption to try new things out.

So what can you do to foster a culture of innovation within your company? Last week I asked our Twitter followers to suggest some ideas, and here’s what they recommended…

1. Nurture the corporate culture that supports innovativeness. (@Vatro)

2. Hire responsible people who are care/ get it, assign budgets and get out of way/ assist. (@bedroomnation)

3. Horizontal structure, small cross discipline teams focusing on users, reduce fear of failure, don't clog with machine age process. (@noodlesnrice)

4. Brainstorming among employees at every level. (@JDD10)

5. My tip for innovation: don't give people job descriptions. (@FloraMarriott)

6. Support from senior stakeholders has always been the key factor for me. With innovation, you need to 'plant the seed' early! (@davidjahall)

7. Bake it in to the culture. (@helentrendell)

8. Freedom. Give your people the freedom to experiment and make mistakes. (@wgx)

9. Greenhousing sessions, strictly moderated, with all staff levels and functions represented. (@StevieCC)

10. Allow everyone to contribute and give people a real change of scene from time to time. (@SocialMediaSpan)

11. Questioning and improving on something you know someone else holds dear. It's tough but gets results. (@alexmoss)

12. Innovation: No idea is stupid. If someone challenges the norm and it fails we learn from it. Don’t punish it. (@TheDigitalJuice)

13. Schedule a one hour meeting for 10 people, where you work on the same theme - but at your own desks. Result: 10 hours worth of ideas. (@theREALwikiman)

14. Let people play. (@addy_dren)

15. Hackdays. (@ysekand)

16. Give people time to do it and reward them for doing it. (@Jimmy_iC)

17. Get rid of processes for innovation and spend at least 20 minutes a day in the kitchen talking about crap with the team. (@LordManley)

18. Support good ideas through to implementation. (@ajthelivertine)

19. Travel on the tops of buses. Look out the window. Walk home a different route. Buy a magazine you have not read before. (@jmks)

And if those don’t work for you then here’s one that is sure to make you think…

20. Really small chairs. (@andylim)

My thanks to all who contributed ideas. Here's one more from me: start small, think big. What do you do to foster a culture of innovation in your company?

Chris Lake

Published 28 October, 2011 by Chris Lake

Chris Lake is CEO at EmpiricalProof, and former Director of Content at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter, Google+ or connect via Linkedin.

582 more posts from this author

You might be interested in

Comments (3)

Alister Cattell

Alister Cattell, Director at Cattell Digital

Failure is not a bad thing. Enabling people to fail, often, will free innovative ideas to happen more often.

almost 7 years ago


Andy betts

I would say failure - or learning- is key to innovation. Hardly any innovators get it right first time.

almost 7 years ago

Albie Attias

Albie Attias, Ecommerce Director at King of Servers Ltd

Picture a desired end result and work backwards, one step at a time to the first step needed to make it happen. The results might not be what you expected.

almost 7 years ago

Save or Cancel

Enjoying this article?

Get more just like this, delivered to your inbox.

Keep up to date with the latest analysis, inspiration and learning from the Econsultancy blog with our free Digital Pulse newsletter. You will receive a hand-picked digest of the latest and greatest articles, as well as snippets of new market data, best practice guides and trends research.