Organizational Innovativeness

Every organization will thrive best in an environment that is full of innovativeness and creativity since these are the aspects that each organization depends upon to ensure that they remain relevant in the ever dynamic and technologically changing business environment. How come then that some organizations are more innovative than other? This is the crucial question that many researchers and business consultants have always wanted to respond to with finality though still needs a lot of research.

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One aspect that makes some organizations more innovative is the fact that they have what is referred to as idea men, these are people who are entrusted to be the think tank of the organization and were selected through a rigorous process and daily routine is to frequently interact with each and every department on very regular basis so as to ascertain the innovation gaps that exist, then sit together, discuss the issue and come up with an innovative idea to propel the organization ahead (Nukhet Harmancioglu,, 2007). This team is usually absolved of any other duties and they are encouraged and facilitated to create contacts with outside world.

The creative organizations also have open channels of communication without hurdles between one rung and another, indeed most have a horizontal approach to management. These open channels of communication allows for the ease of passage of information from one department to another and even from an individual to the management team. This way, it is possible to tap into the creative idea that one of the employees may have as they are free to share it out. In organizations where the communication channels are constrained, most employees end up sharing their innovative ideas with other organizations that take advantage of them and execute them.

Creative and innovative ideas will also thrive where there are ad hoc devices and systems put in place. This is a tricky yet viable system to put in place. There have been cases of innovations gone stale due to the bureaucracies involved from the inception to the execution. These procedures that are usually long discourage people from even forwarding their innovations for consideration. Therefore, the organization that has the ad hoc systems when it comes to innovation will always turn out to be more creative than those stuck to the bureaucracies.

Such organizations also get an advantage over other organizations when it comes to innovativeness due to their policy on heterogeneity of personnel, this is seen in both the employee workforce and the people assigned to solve a given problem. For instance a team that may be assigned to solve some crisis could comprise of a few non-specialists so as to give room for eccentricity.

Creative organizations also adopt objective and fact-founded perspective on matters arising, where ideas are valued on the merits they pose and not the originator of the idea. This can tie up with the ad hoc approach where such tactics as anonymous communication as well as the blind voting is used to avoid subjectivity.

Innovative organizations will also engage in basic research, have long-range plans that are flexible in nature, ready to experiment with new ideas and not simply prejudging them on historical grounds and basically each idea gets a chance.

Innovative ideas have also been noted to have decentralized and diversified administrative structures. They give room for taking chances as well as the freedom to choose and work on a problem and discuss the ideas among the employees. These are factors that will encourage innovativeness in organizations that uphold them and makes them more creative than those who ignore these systems (Federico Capasso, June, 2011). Indeed he summarizes that the three pillars of innovation are Freedom, Funding and Focus.

It is also significant to note that, it can be a relatively easy feat to strike the innovation trend, but it is relatively harder to maintain and remain on top of the table. There is need to have a management that is focused on innovation and stresses it as an organizational goal and one of the areas that are looked at in the regular appraisals, a thing that can only be done by the management. Apart from the management calling for creativity, there is need to adequately reward creativity so that it can remain a highly valued achievement among the employees. This fact is quite ignored and instead there is usually focus on the productivity, a concept that may stall and call for the attention of the innovative side of the organization. The organization must also have a culture that promotes the creativity of the employees. There should be formal channels that are set in an organization for the advancement that would not hinder creativity as well. There are a number of dilemmas that employees in some sectors are faced with, for instance a chemist who is faced by the dilemma of being promoted only if he is moved out of his lab will start weighing the options of the money plus position in one hand, and his chemistry knowledge on the other. These are situations that should not befall the employees working in an organization where the leadership has taken the pain to institute the channels of advancement in all sectors and departments.

The organizational culture can also influence the rate of innovation in any organization. If the organization is reliant on the laissez faire culture, then it will highly hinder create an atmosphere that will hinder creativity among the employees. On the other hand, if the organization has nurtured a culture of freedom, then it will provide a fertile ground for innovation.

It is also worth noting that one organization cannot replicate the success or the process of another organization to the dot and make as much as success or impact as the one that has been copied. This is due to the peculiarity of the sources of the creative ideas that are used to turn the organization into a profit making entity or to achieve success in their organization. The other reason why success cannot be copied from one organization to another is that success in an organization is a process and not an instance that happens just in a flash. It takes various aspects like client feedback, involvement by the top officials, the participation of the employees, research and many other aspects to achieve success. To try to copy the success of an organization then would effectively mean that one has to have all the peculiar aspects that the mother organization took into account lie the client participation which cannot be achieved whatsoever.

There have been several organizations in the history of America that tried to copy other organizations and failed to achieve the heights of success that they had achieve due to differences in peculiar factors like infrastructure, workforce, training, motivation and management among others. One of the organization was the case of K-Mart in the 1960s that tried to copy the trends of Wal-Mart and failed to achieve the targets that made them copy the Wal-Mart. Another is the case of several airlines that attempted to copy the Southwest Air (Dess, 2005).

It is important therefore for each and every organization to centre on their innovation and try as much ac possible to set aside a team that is concerned with innovation and creative solution finding. Copying of other organizations cannot succeed if only the relevant is copied and accompanied by thorough innovation.


Dess, Gregory G., G.T. Lumpkin and Marilyn L. Taylor. Strategic Management. 2 ed. New

York: McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2005.

Federico Capasso, (2011). Recipe for Innovation: Funding, Freedom, Focus. IT World, June 22, 2011. Retrieved October 27, 2011 from

Nukhet Harmancioglu,, (2007). Your new product development (NPD) is only as good as your process: an exploratory analysis of new NPD process design and implementation. R&D Management 37, 5, 2007. Journal compilation 2007. Blackwell Publishing Ltd., 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford. Retrieved October 27, 2011 from