Everyone seems to be on the lookout for innovators nowadays. If you think a bit about it, it’s not surprising at all (no matter how annoying it maybe).
Innovation is the game everyone is rushing headlong into, but there’s a big difference when it comes to the motivation behind the move.
Traditional business model lovers, for example, are doing it because they realize they need to keep up with the competition, but by no means, because they are actually thrilled about the whole thing. In fact, it is rather usual for CEOs to be opposed to new leadership models, as they typically are thinking about their profits and don’t really understand how an agile environment will make things so much better.
Startups and the like, on the other hand, actually enjoy the challenge, for the most part. In a way, the gap between the innovative mindset and the traditional model business mindset is similar to the generation gap.
Because of that, it may be a bit difficult for traditional business people to tell the difference between the innovation mindset and being too aggressive or disruptive.
The best way to attract talents to your company is by creating an agile culture. While it is true that good job offers attract numerous prospective hires, innovators look for so much more than that.
The simple truth is that even the largest companies have difficulties attracting talents if their company culture is old school. Google, Apple and Facebook are, perhaps, the finest examples in this regard. They are famous for attracting creative people in such large numbers that it is hardly possible to believe there are so many innovators out there.
There are – you just need to learn how to recognize and motivate them.
Creative Company Culture Will Make Innovators Come to You
Knowing that, make an attempt to actually make your company the greatest place for innovators to work and thrive.
It is well-known that talented people readily share in a company’s successes and failures, and are willing to include everyone in their projects. Start with this thought: people will need positivity, to begin with, along with actual space for meetups and the like.
Further out, start thinking about the well-known drawbacks, the most notable of which is advancement opportunities. This has been a rather burning issue ever since the startup craze surfaced, especially since agile environments often spell different career paths. In most cases, there will be no set of career paths, in fact.
That’s why you need to come up with offers that will keep talented people in your company. Remember that attracting talents is only the first step. Keeping them is the next one, and a more difficult one, at that.
If your business culture appears attractive to innovators, they are bound to appear for job interviews… but so will 9-5 workers. So, how do you tell them apart?
Startup founders are known for coming up with rather curious sets of interview questions, some of which are bound to shock traditionalists.
And while there is no general recommendation when it comes to this, some questions are more useful than others.
Largely, the choice of questions depends on what startup founders are looking for in an employee. However, it is crucial to remember that it is equally important for the employer to adapt to the employees’ way of seeing things, as it allows for innovators to fit into a company’s vision. This is why it’s so important to develop a clear business culture, with a diverse team – even some hailing from abroad.
With one difference, though: innovators are bound to make the vision greater and fight to make it happen.
Look for Enthusiastic Risk-Takers
Startups are risky environments, and many of the risks are bound to fail. Everyone expects that, so no big deal, right?
We’d beg to differ. No matter how expected it is for risks to not pay off, funds are not endless. Because of that, you’ll want to look for two traits in your prospective hires positivity, even in failure, and creativity to unearth non-existing funds.
Usually, people with incredibly high expectations are the right choice. No matter how absurd this may seem at first glance, the truth is that people aiming high will fight with every breath they take to make their dreams come true.
In that sense, you can observe innovators as dreamers – risk-taking dreamers, to be more precise. People sitting in a comfortable chair imagining a bright future are seldom a good choice, right?
To be able to successfully follow up with the fast-paced developments, make sure to ask for feedback early on. In fact, the best practice would be to establish regular meet-ups so that everyone can have their say.
Agile environments are a mixture of ideas and impossible tasks, and also unexpected shifts and turns. Expectations and reality clash all the time. Because of that, employees need to share in the developments, as to come up with the best possible solutions at all times to boost productivity and keep clear schedules.
Feedback will help you establish the best practice for any kind of situation since unexpected ones are rather common occurrences in fast-paced environments.
As ever, communication is the key to success. That one thing hasn’t changed for centuries and is now indeed more important than ever, especially in startup terms. How come?
Startups employ people with such a wide array of backgrounds and skillsets that it is crucial to get them to work together in harmony. Normally, creative thinkers will find ways to implement different ideas and approaches and to include everyone else in the process.
Things stand differently with top management. Agile environments call for agile leaders, not stiff CEOs opposed to changes, which is, as we’ve already mentioned, the first thing your company needs to address.
Communication, encouragement and overall positivity are crucial to attracting innovators. However, don’t forget that they are not enough to keep them in the long run. Naturally, people expect to be adequately compensated for their hard work, no matter how enjoyable it may be.
This is often the greatest taboo when it comes to innovators, for two reasons. Firstly, there are no clear career paths set. Secondly, their salaries would have to be multiple times higher to match their value to the company, and nobody wants a bad working atmosphere.
The simple truth is: you should pay the innovators what they are due. If they make five times greater profits for your business, their salary should be five times higher than that of other employees. It’s a simple equation, really. Just ask yourself how much you will lose if your innovators go elsewhere.
Last but not least, make no mistake about innovators leaving for a better opportunity. No matter how much they enjoy the work and like the team, they are well aware of their values. This means that you need to be, too! If you keep your innovators happy, engaged and well-paid, you can reap the benefits of their creativity for years to come!