4 Tips to Inspire Business Innovation

Create an environment in your workplace where new ideas thrive.

Business innovation doesn't just happen — it needs the right conditions to thrive. As an office manager, you might be able to help create an environment that encourages creativity and innovative thinking.

These small changes can help motivate individuals to review old ideas and approach challenges in a different way. 

Adjust Your Office Setup

Office managers often help design their office spaces. When the opportunity to arrange your workplace arises, encourage creativity with the new layout. 

If you're currently using cubicles, suggest breaking some down to allow for a small, open-office concept, but designate small quiet rooms or nooks for staff to escape from the noise. Consider creating a space for impromptu strategy sessions, where teams can brainstorm around whiteboards. If you're simply pinched for space, renovating a small breakroom can give your team a place to both recharge and collaborate on the fly.

Stock Up on Brainstorming Tools

Sometimes creativity flows best when people have the opportunity to doodle or even play around without thinking directly about work at all.

Distribute old-fashioned tools like sticky notes, markers, presentation pads and white boards so staff can reach for them whenever they want to jot down ideas.

And while it may not work for all businesses, you might stock up on games or grownup coloring books for the breakroom — sometimes, getting absorbed in a different activity can help workers return to a problem with a new perspective.

Invite People in for Inspiration

Bring in outside voices for regular staff lunches or events. Start a series of get-togethers where an expert can come in and talk about new ideas in your industry. Seek out local sources who want to have real conversations, instead of giving canned speeches. 

Talking about hot topics with a voice from outside your business can jolt people out of their habits — an essential part of encouraging business innovation.

Implement Policies to Encourage Creativity

You may also be able to approach management with suggestions for how to promote creativity. For example, propose a program that rewards an employee who makes a suggestion that the company ends up using. Suggest a mentoring program that crosses departmental boundaries. You might also make the case for allowing a couple paid days off every year to work on a creative pursuit.

Workplace environments can actually help inspire innovation. By creating the right conditions for creativity, you might be able to shake up your company's way of doing things.