A few thoughts.
- Educate people on innovation – what it is and what it is not. This education should include the difference between discovery, invention, ideas and innovation
- If you position innovation as exploration or experimentation, people will feel more comfortable trying a few.
- Provide some time for each person in the company to try it in any area they like, some times even outside the space the company operates in. Pick a few social innovation causes if needed.
- Show some examples of simple, incremental innovations. If you can show case what happened in your own company or in the context of your business/industry, people can relate better.
- Encourage ideas and recognize them in some way. While ideas are not innovation, they are a good starting point.
- Spread the stories of innovation and how it changed something for the better – not always in terms of gains or profits but even life style improvements, less stress etc.
- Building an innovation mindset takes time. Having an informal social network inside the company to share stories may act as a catalyst.