Footwear Corporate Innovation: Thinking outside the box (literally).

Footwear Corporate Innovation: Thinking outside the box (literally).

New ideas are delicate and valuable resources. Like freshly sprouting plant life, new ideas are vulnerable and need space to grow and iterate. Creativity comes from within, but it can be fostered and encouraged by inspiring environment and external stimulus.

Inside large corporations, it is often from the innovation department that new ideas and products emerge. Recognizing that in order to stay relevant, they will need to be able to compete with a new wave of startups and entrepreneurs, corporations are seeking ways to nurture creativity and innovation within their establishments. 

The problem for many corporations is that, because of the large bureaucratic nature of their organization, making change and implementing new ideas can be an arduous and lengthy process. This means that ideas often die before ever having had the opportunity to breath. The inability to implement change quickly is one of the numerous reasons that young creatives and entrepreneurs are less attracted to corporate models, fearing that their ideas and imagination will have no real chance to grow.

“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”  -Einstein

This does not mean that corporations are doomed to failure, nor does it mean that they must entirely restructure their business models. What it does mean is that they will have to allow for much more freedom and leeway in the way their innovation departments are allowed to experiment and iterate. Many traditional corporations are based on known models and heavy planning. But new disruptive ideas need a different structure – freedom from traditional corporate settings. One of the most successful ways for creative teams to flourish is to get outside of the office, (outside the box!) and into new environments where they are surrounded by new people and inspiring ideas. 

Corporations are finally starting to take heed of the popularity and success of co-working environments, a model that startups and tech industry professionals have been hip to for a while now. For corporate innovation departments, getting away from the traditional office/cubicle working environment can be hugely beneficial for their teams. Truly novel ideas spring from the unknown, the unplanned. Working together in an environment conducive to spontaneity and creativity can help catalyze those moments of insight that lead to great new ideas.

Whether working for a small startup or large corporation, innovators need the ability to rapidly develop and prototype new ideas in an environment of like minded individuals. It’s time to consider a broader definition of what a productive work environment can look like. Today’s best and brightest are not motivated by rules and constraints, or rigid and intimidating bosses. Innovators and creatives tend to be motivated by the ingenuity, drive and intelligence of others like them.

If corporate brands wish to stay competitive in today’s environment, they must find ways for their creative teams to continually engage in exciting new ideas and experiences. By allowing teams to think and work outside of the corporate work environment, corporations will likely find that their employees are more committed to the organization, and more likely to bring their best energy and ideas to the work each day.