Four female leaders on growing a culture of innovation

Innovation can make or break a company, but how exactly can it be fostered? In a panel moderated by Isobar US CEO Deb Boyda earlier this week, three female execs shared their thoughts.

“Always make sure your innovations have actionable insights. Eighty percent gets tossed out and 20 percent makes it live. This helps sets the stage for the team to be free-flowing in their ideas, all knowing that failure isn’t a problem,” said Lynette Montgomery, senior manager, digital experience, Cisco.

Jami Crist, global sports marketing senior manager, Under Armour agreed that supporting employees is one of the best ways to foster a culture of innovation and growth.

“We tell our employees that no idea is a bad idea. If they put together a deck and let us know why they think it’s important, we’ll always listen.  It’s about showing the white space and why this will elevate the business,” she said.

“Under Armour is non-stop and so the employees are super excited about what’s next. That said, you can burn out your employees when you’re constantly innovating and not thinking about what your latest innovation was. At Under Armour our culture is about celebrating the wins,” she added.

Additionally, companies should be upfront with their employees in order to create an atmosphere of trust ,said Lauren Castellanos, executive director of global architecture of Shiseido’s digital center of excellence.

“You need to be very transparent. Employees can get uneasy about change – where the company is going, what is happening, etc..  To foster innovation you need to be transparent and make the employees feel like they’re a part of it,” she said.

When asked to sum up their thoughts on how to foster innovation in just a few words, the three panelists had this to say.

“Empower your people. Trust your people. Think outside of the box,” Montogomery, Crist, and Castellanos said, respectively.

Originally posted on Campaign US.

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