How To Encourage Innovation: Collective Decision-Making Vs. Traditional Company Hierarchies

‘Innovation’ is one of the buzzwords of modern business. In a world that’s constantly evolving, companies have to be able to keep up with ever-changing trends, in terms of not only what their customers want, but the sort of working environment their employees expect. Indeed, in order to attract top talent and propel yourself to the pinnacle of your chosen industry, you have to be adaptable, flexible, and, above all, innovative.

This leads to an interesting and frequently unanswered question: is it possible to set your company up in a way that supports this?

Encouraging business innovation

Many experts argue that the answer is ‘yes’. They suggest that by adopting certain methodologies and processes, it is possible to enable the free-flow of ideas throughout a company. In fact, enterprises like Qmarkets actively specialize in the concept of idea management, aka creating an environment where employee involvement is encouraged at all levels in order to achieve a competitive advantage.

A move away from traditional models of management

It is hardly contentious to say that modern business is worlds away from the type of corporate environment that existed even a decade ago. This evolution is primarily attributable to the ever-growing influence and role of technology, and the almost limitless possibilities that this has opened up.

Where once a nine-to-five day was the norm, we’re seeing a trend towards practices such as agile and flexible working. While the overall objective is still for employees to complete the tasks set by those higher up the chain, managerial roles are altering, with employees increasingly shouldering responsibility for time management and the development of their preferred ways of working.

Not only this, but continually evolving technologies mean that those at the top of the hierarchy may be the most experienced, but they’re not always the most knowledgeable with regards to all areas of their industry. Rather, each individual brings their own unique specialisms to the table, all of which can be of equal value to the business, irrespective of job title or superiority.

Leadership in innovation

Collective leadership

What these trends mean, above all, it that it is a huge mistake to disregard the ideas of those who are lower down the chain of hierarchy. Where once a business’ management would have been best placed to make major decisions and effect change, it’s now more important than ever to expand the decision-making net to include each member of your team.

This is where idea management, as mentioned above, can offer significant advantages to businesses looking to promote innovation. Recognizing the rapid rise of new technologies and the state of continual flux which the corporate landscape is now in, it turns on the concept of inviting employees into this inner circle of idea generators and decision-makers. Now those at all levels within a business have the opportunity to contribute to its development and improvement moving forward.

This might, on the surface, seem like a rather obvious, however revolutionary, concept, but it makes an awful lot of sense. Giving each individual the chance to be heard, it recognizes the reality of modern ventures – that experience alone is no longer enough to steer the ship, given how choppy and tumultuous the waters have become.