“Innovation” is a hot concept right now. As well-known author and speaker Guy
Kawasaki sums it up, “‘Innovate or die is how the world works.” Usually when people
discuss innovation and business, it’s associated with a company’s new product or
revolutionary process. But those are actually just the outcomes. True innovation stems
from a company’s workforce. So when you see a business with the inability to innovate,
the heart of the problem actually lies in the leaders’ inability to hire and retain quality
Finding and keeping top talent is what will make or break a company in the “new
economy,” so it is vital that as leader you do what it takes to ensure your business’
success. In order for your employees to become innovative in their responsibilities and
your employers ahead of the competition, you have to do three things. Building trust,
cultivating passion, and inspiring loyalty must be at the top of your to-do list if you want
to protect your workplace from one of today’s top business challenges – the inability to
Trust is a two-way street. First, your employees must trust you in order to have the
freedom to be innovative or motivation to work hard. This only comes through honest
communication and consistent follow-through from your leadership. On the flip side,
you also have to trust your employees. Kawasaki points out that you have to, “Trust
your employee(s) enough to make the right decision for customers. When you show this
level of trust and empower employees, they do the best work that they can.”
Today’s successful businesses have the most engaged and enthusiastic employees.
But that passion has to originate at the top. “The leadership team must be passionate
in order for the rest of the organization to be passionate,” said OtterBox founder and
CEO Curt Richardson in a recent Inc.com article. “Who wants to come to work for
someone who is just going through the motions and working for the next professional
advancement?” So make sure you’re excited about your company’s goals and mission,
then work to spread that excitement.
Maintaining an innovative workplace means that you must also foster a loyal workforce.
Hiring top talent is the first step, but keeping your talented workers engaged and
invested in your business is the only way to achieve long-term success. There are many
ideas out there on how to build employee loyalty, but it really boils down to leadership.
As the leader, you have to be willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done, says
Kawasaki. “Employees need to know that you’ll do the dirty, hard, and frustrating jobs
If you want your business to be successful and stay ahead of the competition, then you
must realize that hiring and retaining top talent is the only way. A passionate, engaged
workforce is the key to becoming an innovative industry leader. But, it’s up to you to
provide an environment that allows your employees to innovate. Give them what they
need, and they’ll return the investment, ten-fold.