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Want a Culture that Fosters Innovation? Then Get your Business out of the 9 to 5!

By Paul Smith | PaulSmith, Leadership, CFO |
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

There's one thing about innovation, (the big ideas buzz word de jour), it cannot be forced.

To build an innovative culture you'll need to allow your workplace to evolve. 

Show me an entrepreneur that does their best thinking only between the hours of 9am and 5pm. Perhaps, but not when they are tied to a desk. It happens in the shower, during exercise, queuing for coffee, during sex (ok, that counts as exercise, for most).

Those creative juices cannot be released on command...

So, for all those businesses hiring 'innovative thinkers' or encouraging their people to be more innovative, it may not matter how cool your office is, how many hackathons you run or how much your board of directors insists you have a culture of innovation, if you insist on your people being in the office in the usual 9 to 5 you are still trying to schedule innovation into your existing culture.

Time to think outside the box.

How?

Find out when and how your best people operate. Instead of trying to fit them into your (old way of) doing things, work to their strengths - it's how you'll get the best out of people. If you don't, it's likely they'll be less productive and less engaged in their work.

End game. They leave. You blame them. You hire a replacement. Rinse and Repeat.

To build an innovative culture you'll need to allow your workplace to evolve. That's hard when perhaps the older generations (who generally run the show) are stuck in the past. 

Paul Smith, co-founder and CEO of Future Directors Institute, helps empower and connect the next generation of board directors. He is Chair of the Jane Goodall Institute Australia and a director of several start-ups. To learn more about the Future Directors Institute and how they are helping hundreds of next generation leaders make an impact in the boardroom, visit www.futuredirectors.com.au

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