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A farmer will not blindly expect a good and robust crop to grow when there are no nutrients in the soil or when irrigation is inadequate. Without the fertile soil of a positive organizational culture and environment, the seed of innovation dies a natural death. In a secure, open and fair environment, the innovation gene kicks into action, even, and more so, in adversity. In a culture of criticism, scapegoating, finger pointing, and nepotism, innovation takes a comfortable backseat.

Much of the time, innovations happen quietly. So unfortunately, they are not recognized, rewarded or celebrated. Leaders must do all they can to constantly replenish the organizational environment with fairness, trust, empathy, and transparency and healthy communication channels.

Recognizing small everyday innovations and rewarding them with thankyou notes, callouts in team meetings, rewards and recognitions in company events etc creates a fertile ground for larger innovations. Genuine recognition in real time has a ripple effect. Innovation is one of them. Everyday innovations need to be promoted in order to create the necessary environment for bigger innovations.

image source: Flickr

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