Given a choice, would you rather: 1) Follow a consistent routine that’s been laid out for you, poses no problems and requires no adjustments? Or, 2) Work on the leading edge of your profession, breaking new ground, and gaining recognition for your insights?

Guess what? Your colleagues and employees feel the same way.

No one enjoys simply following the well-worn path laid down by others, just following directives, taking orders. Granted, many people have developed considerable tolerance for it, but they don’t call it “fun.” They call it “work” and they’re resigned to it.

How much more rewarding is it when you can discover new insights, test them and watch them succeed? Do you think your people might perk up a little when they’re given that opportunity? Would they feel more valued? Would they feel like they’re really making a contribution? Would that make them more committed, more loyal, even more willing to make sacrifices to reach objectives that they share?

And if those contributions were genuinely recognized and rewarded, would they perhaps offer even more? Might they show more initiative and assume more personal responsibility?

An innovation culture is about creating the same things that great leaders have always sought to achieve. The same policies and practices that promote innovation promote loyalty, commitment and teamwork. They make the work more stimulating, meaningful and fulfilling and that raises morale and productivity. So the work doesn’t just get done; it gets done better.

Promoting innovation isn’t just about getting people to volunteer their ideas. It’s about moving away from traditional top-down, command-and-control, closed loop management techniques. Moving instead towards a more challenging, more flexible, more appreciative style that’s not only more productive and successful; it’s a whole lot more fun.