Do NOT explore new technology for your business if you do not have an innovative culture.
Too often, well-intentioned people think if they purchase the software then their teams will become tech savvy. Which will then lead to their company being seen as innovative. And that is not the case. This is a classic example of “cart before the horse” thinking.
Companies must already have an innovative culture in order to embrace new technologies and work them into existing workflows or create better and more efficient processes after implementation. Technology doesn’t fix anything if the people intended to use the product don’t believe in the tech’s benefits.
At a company’s core must live an innovative mindset in order for outside influences (like technology) to speed up productivity and accelerate growth.
Here are 7 tips for identifying if your construction company has an innovative culture.
Ideas are encouraged and embraced.
It may seem simple, but this first identifier is a big one. Generating ideas is easy. Sharing them and implementing them is a lot harder. If your company doesn’t have a mandate that all ideas should be shared and embraced, then your company may struggle with innovation.
Everyone in the company has ideas for better ways to do their piece of business operations. Individuals, from new hires to junior team members to seasoned professionals, have insights that will spearhead your company forward and make their roles more efficient. Better efficiencies lead to greater profits. Fresh ideas are great for business! If your team members are not sharing their ideas, then start promoting this initiative pronto.
Taking a hop of faith is a regular occurrence.
Trying something outside of our comfort zones is scary. However, in order to be innovative, you must take hops of faith regularly. A “leap” of faith sounds like a big endeavor. However, a hop of faith is smaller and does not require a huge production to pull off.
The status quo is going to kill your innovative drive. Taking regular hops of faith forward toward your innovative ideas is going to pay off for you and your firm. And build a culture of people who are constantly growing.
You track your successes and build on top of them.
As a kid, we stood with our back toward the wall/door jamb/wood post, and someone would mark our height against the wall. It was exciting to see our growth month-over-month and year-over-year. That’s the same feeling when we track our successes. Besides, if you don’t know your baseline for improvement then what are you actually innovating?
Several preconstruction teams measure their time to complete an estimate. If this measurement is important for your company, then you can start exploring ways to decrease your estimating time while also maintaining high quality deliverables. It will require innovative ideas, hops of faith that they will work out, and measuring those successes.
Diversity of thought is a priority.
If everyone in the decision-making process for your company has the same background, similar training, and relatively close viewpoints of the problem at hand then your innovative culture is stuck. Having diversity of thought is key to exploring solutions for all sorts of struggles. And you need this level of diversity in order to build an innovative solution that works for everyone.
Include folks from junior staff members to senior leadership, people who work in the field and those who work in the office, and especially the people who are curious about the problem and solution. There is more than one way to approach a problem and you want those people in your innovation process.
Strong leaders and change managers are synonymous.
Change is hard! Especially in business when trying to implement process changes across multiple teams. Having company leaders who also value the benefits of change are paramount for an innovative culture. They need to have a vision of where the company can go and the knowledge of what the status quo will do to stagnate the business.
Leaders lead people (because people are willing to follow them). Managers manage processes (and should be held accountable for efficiencies). A person does not have to be a manager to be a leader and a manager may not be your change manager. An innovative culture will allow these strong leaders and change managers to blossom in the right business environment.
Lifelong learners fill your offices.
Again, the status quo is going to kill your business. One of the easiest ways to squash “the way we have always done it” mentality is to have employees who are lifelong learners. They are seeking out ways to do their role better, they want to learn from others daily, and they carve out time for continuous education. Your company can support these efforts by requiring continuing education for everyone and resources to help them in their learning journey.
Top talent applies for your open positions.
This is a key indicator that your company is seen as being innovative. If you are getting amazing applicants for your open positions, then they see the innovative spirit in your business. Great talent is not going to a company to be mediocre. They want to join a company that will support their ambitions and help them grow.
An innovative culture will be more open and receptive to new ideas, processes, and technologies. You must have this business culture mindset before you implement technology because a technology platform is going to change your processes and it is going to stir up new ideas for your company. Don’t put the cart before the horse and expect a tech platform to build your innovative culture. Your innovative culture will lead you to the right technology for your business.