Desk of Brad

Three Ways to Bring Out Innovation in Employees

I’ve been thinking a lot about the importance of maintaining Tahzoo’s unique culture through this expansion and the integration of Tahzoo Europe. This has led me to take a step back and look at what makes Tahzoo special, and it’s clear that our employees truly are our greatest assets. The ‘Zoo team is comprised of happy, smart, interesting people who are inspired by change and are driven to constantly improve and innovate.

As a CEO, or as a team leader, how can you foster a culture of innovation especially among a growing, global team? I’ve worked at a wide variety of organizations and in several different roles – from retail to sales – before founding Tahzoo (you can learn more about that transition in my Fast Company article here). Along the way, I’ve seen various tactics for driving innovation and I have worked hard to build a positive culture at Tahzoo. Here are three tips you can follow to drive innovation in your organization:

  1. Encourage creativity. At the most pioneering companies, a culture of creativity is an integral part of the corporate DNA. We hire employees based on their character first, and we follow the mantra of “shoes optional” from the top down. This helps encourage a culture where creativity and innovation are valued.
  2. Solicit feedback. It’s also important to ensure that all employees feel that their opinion is valued – you never know where the next great idea will come from! We support this inclusive culture through a weekly survey that employees at all levels complete – offering their constructive and honest feedback on what’s working, and what’s not.
  3. Make time for innovation. In today’s business world, there are distractions in every direction, all the time—from alerts on mobile phones, to constant meetings and invitations to touch base. I recently wrote an article for Entrepreneur magazine where I discussed a tactic that has been particularly valuable in driving innovation at Tahzoo: one hyper-focused meeting per week. Each week, I hold a two-hour meeting with the global senior team to talk through ideas mapped back to our higher-level goals. This helps eliminate distractions and creates a space for innovative thinking – vastly increasing alignment, productivity and motivation across our global team.

By following these three tips, you can help instill and maintain a culture of innovation. I’m looking forward to continued innovation from our stellar – and growing – Tahzoo team!