should all employees innovate?

Should all employees innovate?


Should all employees innovate? It’s a common belief that all workers should do so. They should do it in their daily tasks, improving constantly. Such may bring advantages, in a certain way. Yet, it may also impair focused innovation.


Nowadays, there’s a widespread creed that all employees should innovate. Should we be doing this? There isn’t a clear answer. Some managers think every worker should innovate, some don’t. Most likely, the best approach lies somewhere in the middle. But first, let’s check arguments for the two.

Some business experts defend all workers should innovate. They note how several people don’t see themselves responsible for innovation. Such is usually in the hands of research/development team, “official innovators”. This, of course, can impair company innovation. Innovation isn’t only about products. It’s required everywhere such as in packaging, or HR management. Thus, everyone has the job to innovate in its role.

Examples of the above approach can be seen in Toyota, or Apple. The first, for example, involves front-line workers in innovation. All company employees participate in process improvement, chipping in with their personal knowledge. The second also innovates in diverse fields, such as forms of retailing.

Does the above mean that innovation belongs equally to every employer? Not necessarily. Several experts note that innovation should have a privileged role. In other words, there should be at least on department dedicated to it solely.

Believing that innovation belongs to everyone might devalue it. Formal, not casual, innovation processes should be developed. Without them, it’s hard to guarantee that innovation will happen and be fruitful.

So, should all employees innovate? Sort of. The true answer lies somewhere in the middle. It’s important to incentivize employees to innovate in their roles. Yet, such should always be done in coordination with innovation teams. These are responsible for the process in the first place.

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