Alister Maple-Brown examines the importance and value of innovation within a workplace. Is your business doing enough to foster and harness creative energy?
LATE LAST YEAR I had the pleasure of travelling to the United States to explore their real estate market and discover the latest trends in Silicon Valley. The trip gave me many insights into the future of technology and the changes we will begin to see in the real estate industry over the course of 2016.
Two of the highlights of my trip included attending America’s annual National Association of Realtors (NAR) Conference and visiting Amazon’s headquarters in Silicon Valley. Both these experiences displayed an incredible amount of creativity and innovation, the foundations of most Silicon Valley businesses.
I believe that these are two very important traits to bring to the Australian real estate industry. So how can your business foster innovation in 2016?
One of the key themes which emerged from the NAR Conference was the emphasis on customer experience within the real estate industry. Offering a premium level of customer service may be the foundation of your business, but are all your employees aware of this?
Aligning the goals of your business can help to reiterate the purpose of every individual within the business and ensure that everyone is working towards the same goal. There’s no point in your team members coming up with a great idea if it doesn’t align with your business’s core purpose.
ENCOURAGE CREATIVE THINKING
Creativity within your business can set you apart from the competition. Within the Amazon office there were various ‘breakout areas’ with lounges and sunken chairs, designed with the intent to foster creative conversation. Changing your physical settings or having a team brainstorm can help get the creative juices flowing. You’ll likely throw away 90 per cent of the ideas, but it’s that other 10 per cent of gold that makes the process worth it.
Failure is something that we all fear, but if embraced in the correct manner it can create a supportive and open workplace culture. The tech giants such as Amazon, Facebook and Google would not be where they are today without failure and mistakes.
Creating a workplace which encourages open and judgement-free discussion will generate more innovative ideas than businesses that remain closed to new developments for fear of failure. In order to innovate, one must be prepared to fail first. This concept is embraced with open arms in Silicon Valley.
As we move into 2016 I encourage you to innovate within your workplace and foster creativity within your team. We’re doing that at Rockend and we’re excited about the year ahead.
I look forward to seeing innovation and lateral thinking in your business and the industry over the course of this year.