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I think innovation should be encouraged from all levels and should allow all employees to participate. Innovation in itself is usually best done in a collaborative and creative environment. An organization that recognizes and encourages that will be light years ahead of the competition. A company I once worked at had an incentive program that permitted payouts to employee suggestions of up to $200K or 10% of any savings realized. The only issue was that the suggestion could not be in your area of responsibility which I thought counter-productive. A friend came up with a process idea that saved his company $200K annually. The idea was patented with his name, and he received a yearly bonus as a result; however it was in his area of responsibility as the CTO.
Cultivating a culture which will encourage innovation is a leadership responsibility but once that is in place, everyone is responsible for contributing to innovative activities.
The tone should be set by the leadership but each and every individual is responsible for contributing their ideas. It is imperative for leadership to build a culture of mutual trust and empowerment so that teams feel motivated to think outside the box and drive the culture of continuous improvement.
An effective leader / Top Management recognizes the importance of embracing differences in people and knows how to connect the dots among those differences to get the best outcomes from the team. This is what cultivates a workplace environment of continuous improvements, innovation and initiative. Leaders must foster a commitment from the team to embrace an innovation mindset where each employee learns to help to innovation in organization.
In my view each and everyone in the organisation should be involved and be responsible for innovation in their respective work areas.
Top Management and Leadership should drive, facilitate and encourage the team for innovation
Everybody but the leadership must establish the culture.
Some companies do have R&D labs etc. but this does not mean the normal joe soap cannot put forward an innovative idea.
Just to comment regarding I am facing this type of challenges please let me know I am working inside the Innovation and Transformation EPMO then all related to my work is around it. Fist thing I´d like to say is: unfortunately the concept becomes a buzzword in the last time and is selling as "take this magic pill and you will be an innovator", including it when you ask to some people what innovation is you get the wrong answer. With that said innovation is not on hands of a person or group of people. As @Kiron stated above is a matter of culture. And culture is not related to structure or other type of things. Each person in the organization which have an idea must be taken into account. Why my actual work place has an specifi PMO to manage something related to innovation? Because one of our duties is to provide information which is one of the things that helps to innovation.
It can be from anybody. The most important thing is to provide the team with an opportunity to express their thoughts and share their innovative solutions. The communication process should be facilitated in a way that motivates the members to participate and think about problems and tasks rather than just mechanically act.
Definitely it is everybody responsibility. But conducive culture is key enabler to involve everybody in this direction. Leadership plays important role in creating cultural fostering innovation. A cultural of learning, accepting challenges, forward thinking, celebrating even small success and loving failure is very essential and important factor of this journey.
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