Fostering a Culture of Innovation During Economic Uncertainty
In times of economic uncertainty, organizations may rush to deprioritize innovation in order to focus on minimizing risk. But there’s a lot to consider when making these decisions. According to McKinsey, organizations that maintained their innovation focus through the 2009 financial crisis emerged stronger, outperforming the market average by more than 30%, and continued to deliver accelerated growth over the subsequent three to five years.
Practices that once made a business successful may become irrelevant. To keep pace with the ever-changing economic climate, it’s critical for organizations to continue to innovate and encourage innovation among their employees. And leaders are in a unique position to decide whether to support innovative initiatives. The decisions leaders make today will have a lasting impact on business continuity and future growth.
Economic downturns can make many of us nervous, but a recession doesn’t always need to mean doom and gloom. Take for instance, some notable companies like Airbnb, Square, and Udemy. All were founded during the last recession between 2008 and 2010. This week’s guest on the Leading Up podcast gives us a crash course in innovation and explains why now is as good a time as ever to continue innovating. Karl Ulrich teaches and researches innovation at the Wharton School of Business. He is a founder, investor, and advisor to dozens of companies and holds 24 patents.
In this episode, you will learn:
- How to look at innovation as a sustained activity [8:26]
- The benefits of a central innovation unit [13:24]
- What design thinking is and why it matters [18:09]
- Divergent and convergent thinking to develop innovative ideas [21:08]
- Tips for increasing the creative potential of a group [23:12]
- The “jobs to be done” methodology [35:28]
Listen to this episode — and all of our episodes — wherever you get your podcasts.