Who will drive the innovation in construction?

Technology is driving change at a pace that many companies are finding hard to keep up with. Especially those entrenched in traditional modes of operating. There is no question that change is necessary and innovation is one way to go about it. But in corporate cultures where it’s more important to follow policy and procedure, who is going to step up and drive the change?

The creative thinkers

The entrepreneurial mindset is not often found in large corporations, because innovators generally don’t like to be encumbered by reams of red tape. But that doesn’t mean innovation can’t be cultured or managed for that matter. When innovation is driven by organizational leaders, and people within the organization are provided with room to come up with creative solutions to problems, it can build a platform from which intrepreneurs can be cultured.

Intrepreneurs are managers who are visionary and have a passion for innovation but at the same time know they’re accountable to delivering ideas that translate into a tangible ROI. The best intrepreneurs are those that understand both the organizational capability and structure and typically they have a solid reputation that has earned them respect within the industry. When they propose changes, it’s generally for the purpose of being able to deliver a better ROI.

What can organisations do?

It’s one thing to desire change, and another to allow people the room to implement it. Innovation can’t thrive where there’s no room to think outside the box, or no opportunity for failure without fear of recrimination. Organisations that want to become more agile will need to accept that with innovation comes a degree of risk. As much as ideas can be tested or trialed, failure is part of the process. There cannot be the expectation that innovation will always result in success.

Secondly, because technology is a major driving factor for change, companies need to be willing to invest in technologies that support innovation. Whether this is systems based, streamlining tender processes and project management, or whether it’s providing scanning, monitoring or safety tools on site, innovation goes hand in hand with technology.

Most importantly though, organisations need to decide where they want to position themselves in the marketplace. If it’s going to require change and innovation to get there, then it may be time to consider hiring some visionary leaders – Intrapreneurs who can drive the change.