Comfort with Chaos: the Innovation Leader’s Mindset

Innovation Leader Mindset

Chaos is something many organization leaders try hard to avoid. Generally, employees are expected to perform tasks in an analytical, well-organized fashion without deviating from the plan. But innovation leaders know the value of chaos, and how a certain amount of it is necessary for experimentation. This is what helps a company thrive and grow.

According to a 2019 innovation survey, 91% of marketing leaders are involved in driving the innovation process. By including it in their marketing strategy, it becomes a high priority initiative.

Innovation requires people to think outside the box. Great ideas require experimentation. The key is to create a culture that strikes a balance between chaos and order.

Blending Chaos With Order

Chaos is most useful during the initial phase of innovation. It is what helps employees generate ideas that are truly unique. It gives people permission to go outside the organizational norm and be creative.

Innovation must be an organizational change. Between 2012-2017, 1,000 top companies grew their research and development spending globally at a compound annual growth rate of 6%, bringing it from $361 billion to $456 billion.

Order comes after chaos. Once you have all these great ideas to draw from, you need a way to organize them. Order brings them together to form an effective business model.

The balance between chaos and order is a delicate one. It is a challenge for many innovation leaders who rely on structure for every business process.

Cultivating Chaos

Chaos must be contained for the balance to work. Business leaders need to give employees ownership of their ideas so possibilities can be freely explored. These ideas can then be organized into initiatives that lead to change.

Innovation leaders are there to help the process flow. They determine how and where to share ideas, then turn them into plans that are implemented throughout the organization.

Use Chaos to Cultivate Change

Change neonsign.

Avoid using only one strategy. This keeps businesses from remaining in one place. Experiment on the edge of chaos. This is where productivity occurs. It is often considered an uncomfortable state where order and disorder occupy the same spaces.

This condition forces people to blend conventional and unconventional ways of thinking to form ideas. Navigating this edge of chaos can be challenging, but with the right balance, it will be rewarding in the end.

Let chaos create new conditions. When faced with instability, existing systems will change dramatically, often resulting in new networks and thought processes. Organization leaders should acknowledge the talent and potential of each employee. This opens new opportunities for innovation.

Let employees innovate outside their areas of expertise. This gives people the chance to learn about other aspects of your organization and add a unique perspective to the idea sharing process.

Contribution Equals Empowerment

When employees share ideas in a culture that permits chaos, unique contributions occur. Idea sharing is empowering because it shows the thoughts of each employee are listened to equally. The chaos gives people the freedom to innovate, while the order helps turn that creativity into change.

Are you looking for ways to increase opportunities through innovation? Get the Innovation Starter Kit and request a demo of the IdeaScale innovation platform today.

Comments are closed.