The Key to Innovation in the Workplace

I read recently that innovation in the workplace is rare and that it is fuelled by a certain set of conditions. The research found that a higher salary is not conducive to greater innovation but it can be useful for motivating staff when the job responsibilities are repetitive and don't require creative thinking. However, if the work does require creative thought, then the work environment needs to support it. What are the special conditions that support innovation?

Companies like Google exemplify the conditions necessary for ongoing innovation. First, the organisation must have a clear identity, purpose (beyond making money) and positive culture. Second, every employee undergoes a high degree of scrutiny before they are hired to ensure that they align clearly with the these three aspects: that is, they 'fit' with the organisational culture and feel excited about the purpose and identity. This is the fuel for ongoing personal motivation which doesn't require big salaries, but does require a management team which cultivates a strong culture which cares for, and gives support to, its employees.