When was the last time you really celebrated a new innovation at your company or organization? I don’t mean the Christmas party. I’m talking about a rewards-and-recognition dinner for the entire team that worked on the development of a successful new product.

If you had one, that’s a good sign that your organization is trying to create a risk-taking culture.

Attitude and mind-set are the be-all and end-all for creating an innovative culture. A company that creates a culture that encourages and rewards risk-taking is one that will accelerate the advancement of good ideas and eventual market successes. Crafting a culture that enables everyone within a company to feel and be innovative means providing people with a financial upside when a product or service does well and not scolding or reprimanding someone when a product fails. Failure is intrinsic to the innovation process. Accept that or don’t play the game.

The primary reason to create an innovative culture is that it makes economic sense. Margins increase, earnings go up, stock prices appreciate, and ultimately employees feel that they are part of a winning team. Why then don’t more organizations encourage a risk-taking environment? The unfortunate answer is fear of failure and uncertainty. People feel as if they are going to be burned in many cases if they stick their necks out to pursue something new and it doesn’t make it or falls short of the goal.

And yet, as Andrew Carnegie, the famous industry leader, once said, “The first person gets the oyster, the second one gets the shell.”

The same is true with innovation. The first to market with a new idea or the first to create a new category is the one who usually secures the most share and margin structure.

Source: SunTimes.com, here. Article by Thomas Kuczmarski