Why innovative thinkers are important for the workplace

Endaba Group

In today’s ceaseless quest to remain ahead, it’s key for companies to innovate and be innovative in their approach and continually challenge the status quo. However, it is easy to get swept up in the excitement of future technology instead of what makes a real difference: people. Innovative people are as important as new technology. Successful companies also know that true innovation comes from not only their leaders, but from anywhere and anyone in their company.

“Businesses are constantly evolving to create a basis for long term success. Innovation can be a small thing that makes a huge change. No business can afford to stand still in an ever-changing economy and they need the right people to execute this.” Lynette Deutsch, CEO and Founder of Endaba.

Sharp thinkers and proactive resources are in demand today to bring in fresh perspectives and help companies grow in the right direction. Angela Ahrendts, Senior Vice President for Retail and Online Stores at Apple, as part of their process of innovation, has set up an internal communication programme. This allows employees to feedback directly to her with any suggestion, from their services or product offerings, to their ways of working and culture. Even though they are the leading innovative business in the world, Apple still feel the need and desire to innovate and they are doing so using one of their most valuable assets, their people. “They see their people as value generators for their organisation.” Patrick Egan, Managing Director of Endaba.

Benefits of innovative people

Companies need to stay ahead to win trust and confidence of their customers. Moreover, with customers becoming more demanding, companies need to come up with innovative solutions for increasingly complex challenges.

They think differently, never restricted by existing or perceived parameters. Innovative people also show more commitment and proactivity, exploring ideas outside of what they’re tasked to do.

Analytical thinkers have a set way of doings things, “innovatives” have a creative, broader approach and no two people will react or think the same

Business is dynamic – there is no room for rigidity. “Innovatives” respond well to change and this can be a great boost for any business wanting to manage costs, build leaders and create an overall environment for change from within.

The ongoing challenge for businesses is how to deliver digital strategies through the right people, organisation and culture. Companies often miss the mark in understanding how to invest in people as their most valuable asset. Endaba carried out a Market Intelligence project for a global restaurant chain to gain an understanding of what ‘Best-in-Class’ means across their four pillars: reward, organisational structure, decision-making, and culture and behaviour. When questioned about culture, they were enthusiastic about cultures that provide openness and transparency. The biggest attractor and retainer is when companies live their purpose, values and vision and hire against them. When all the parts that make up a company’s culture— people first, core values, experiences, processes, and more—work in unison to support and develop employees, this leads to an increase in the level of engagement, productivity, and retention and as a result, innovation in processes, products or services that impact customer happiness—and the bottom line. Employees who are on board with a company’s overarching goals dedicate their personal resources to bettering themselves and their company. When leadership embraces this type of entrepreneurial and innovative freedom, the results are always win-win.

Put best by a well-known and successful innovative thinker:  Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” Steve Jobs and this is true for both people and brands!