Key to Innovation – Seek out Entrepreneurial Spirit, not Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs are looking at ways to start up new businesses, build them up, and the sell them on. They are innovators and come up with fantastic ideas. However, they are not always needed within organizations. What is needed, however, is an entrepreneurial spirit, which means a desire to come up with innovative ideas, and to embrace change. To identify and foster this spirit, companies should have accessible innovation management software in place that everybody should be encouraged to use.

Where Can You Find Entrepreneurial Spirit?

Entrepreneurial spirit is found everywhere. It is not something that is usually included in a job description, nor is it questioned during interview stages. After all, it is not relevant to the clearly defined roles that people have within an organization. This is why open innovation management software is so important, because it enables everybody to contribute. It is arrogant to think that your CEO has entrepreneurial spirit, but your janitor has not, in other words.

There are things to look for, if you are searching for a specific person in your organization. Those with an entrepreneurial spirit:

  • Always want to learn more.
  • Always question everything.
  • Are always ready to listen to others who have more experience.
  • Love working together with others.

So Why Does it Matter?

The formula is very easy: if you have the right people on board, they will create better ideas. When there are better ideas, productivity goes up. When productivity goes up, your profits increase. But this doesn’t mean you have to bring someone in from the outside. Rather, you have to encourage anyone in your company to showcase their own spirit. You, as the manager responsible for this, simply have to foster and nurture this, ensuring people know that their contributions are valued and that they will be listened to. Once you break through their initial distrust, which can be hard if you have a traditionally hierarchical structure.

A few key pointers to remember:

  1. All leaders have to support those within their team to contribute ideas.
  2. You must have a proper idea management system in place.

Understanding What Is Needed

One of the key barriers to all organizations embracing innovation is lack of understanding. Too many managers believe that implementing idea management software means they have to become a completely flat organization. This means relinquishing certain elements of control, and not everybody is ready for that. But this isn’t what innovation means. Innovation simply means that you allow people to submit ideas, to speak, to have their voice heard. It does not mean that every idea has to be implemented. As a manager, you can set certain criteria that ideas have to meet before they can even be considered (make sure you communicate those criteria!), and you always keep the control of being able to reject an idea, although you should always be able to motivate your decisions.  That is the transparency that those with an entrepreneurial spirit look for, and what keeps them going within contributing new ideas, even if they don’t get implemented.