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WHY HAPPINESS AND INNOVATION ARE THE BEST OF FRIENDS

Posted by Graham Carr 1 July 2015

Encouraging innovation is often a key goal of any organisation, whether its aim is to promote growth, expand markets or attract new customers. The value of innovation cannot be overstated, and there are a number of tools and techniques that can be used to promote innovation within an organisation. But did you know that happiness can be one of the key drivers of innovation, and that by promoting happiness in a variety of ways you can improve your organisation’s capacity to be creative and forward thinking.

As an innovation management consultancy, we know a thing or two about innovation and creativity. We also know that happiness can be crucial when promoting innovation; this week we share our thoughts on why the two concepts are mutually beneficial, and how you can use happiness to boost the innovative potential of your company.

INCREASED ENGAGEMENT

Happiness at work is an often stated goal of many an organisation and employee, but can sometimes seem elusive in the face of tight deadlines, long working hours and high-pressured environments. Yet rather than being an abstract ideal to aim for, happiness can actually produce measurable results for your business by contributing to employee engagement.

Long-standing research has shown that engagement among employees is a key driver of innovation, and that innovation is a driver of profitable growth. To say that employee engagement therefore drives growth is of great importance, and should act as a primary motivation for working towards creating an engaged, motivated workforce within an organisation.

In a recent article by the Huffington Post, founder of entrepreneurship and growth impact agency SHADOKA Faisal Hoque has argued that building strong relationship links between employers and employees of all levels can be the key to a successful organisation. He argues that with time often being a scarce resource, cultivating the visionary in others and leading people with a sense of purpose can create a commitment-orientated organisation which is capable of high levels of innovation and successful growth.

THINKING FREELY

The ability to be creative is often hailed as an attribute among a select few individuals, but here at think we know that creativity is a skill that can be taught given the correct training. That said, creativity can be stimulated in a number of organic ways such as an open and inspiring environment, the encouragement of outside the box thinking and boosting self-confidence and personal happiness.

A recent innovation conference by the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA), one of the UK’s leading think tanks on innovation, has identified key behavioural characteristics such as personal creativity and curiosity; optimism; openness to new experiences; interdisciplinary working and (importantly) happiness and personal wellbeing as being positively correlated with innovation.

WORKING WITH OTHERS

One way to enhance the happiness levels of potential innovators and encourage their creativity is to enable teamwork and knowledge sharing among individuals. In having the opportunity to work with others and through inter-disciplinary learning, it is possible to generate new, original ideas through inspiration from others and observing their methods and processes.

In a recent article on gulfnews.com, Manchester Business School have been discussing the merits of Dubai’s collaborative approach to innovation. The city, known as an international business hub, is currently developing plans to create themed industry clusters such as “Knowledge Village”, “Design District” and “Silicon Oasis”, which will bring experts from differing but complimentary industries together to encourage innovation. This, combined with Dubai’s recent efforts to measure the happiness of its citizens with the launch of its new “Happiness Meter”, has been hailed as a ‘great initiative’ by Manchester Business School and a model which can be replicated to put happiness to good use in encouraging innovation around the world.

As global innovation specialists we aim to help and encourage people and organizations to become more nimble, boosting their ability to generate ideas. We bring pace and focus to your innovation initiatives using our unique innovation techniques, which are constantly being developed by our professional licensees. If you’re interested in becoming a licensee for the think team, take a look at www.thethinkteam.com/join-us/.

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As global innovation specialists we aim to help and encourage people and organizations to become more nimble, boosting their ability to generate ideas. We bring pace and focus to your innovation initiatives using our unique innovation techniques, which are constantly being developed by our professional licensees. If you’re interested in becoming a licensee for the think team, contact us here.

Follow us on Twitter @thethinkteam1
Like our Facebook page thethinkteam
Follow our company page on LinkedIn thethinkteam
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