Innovative companies. What’s their secret of success? Innovation speaker Sebastien Sasseville says that they focus their efforts not on innovation itself, but rather on creating an environment that is favorable to innovation.

What happens when even the best seeds in the world are planted in nothing but bare rock? Nothing grows. And conversely, in fertile soil, even the poorest seeds inevitably end up sprouting. Innovation cannot be ordered up; rather, it is cultivated and depends more on its environment than on actual genius.

In his Inc.spiration conference about business agility,  Sebastien Sasseville share with his audience various ways of cultivating a climate favorable to innovation. Here then are two:

Failing with successs
In an environment favorable to innovation, failure is not punished. On the contrary, it is celebrated and redefined as a simple point of resistance. Failure is seen as a learning opportunity and a way of improving the product or service. When failure is punished, we kill innovation. When a point of resistance arises, it is to be shared with everyone in the organization and presented in a positive manner as a source of motivation for one and all.

To be innovative, a company must create an environment where everyone can fail with success. 

Creating a laboratory
In order to create a climate favorable to innovation, everyone’s ideas must be heard and have a chance to see the light of day. For when staff members are constantly ignored, they stop sharing their flashes of genius. Obviously, the company must make a decision as to which ideas to keep and which to put aside.  As an innovation speaker, I suggest creating a laboratory where ideas can be tested without any risk to the company. This laboratory can take various forms depending on the industry or field of activity in question. The learning that takes place in such a lab is very important, above and beyond the resulting message that the staff’s ideas have great value for the company.