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Fostering a culture of creativity to drive innovation in your dealership

Encouraging a culture of creativity and innovation within your organization makes employees feel much more comfortable sharing new ideas.

As with most sectors, the automotive industry must continue to come up with creative solutions and groundbreaking innovations to keep consumers happy. Professionals in the automotive retail industry have to keep up with a tremendous amount of new technologies that include but are not limited to new products, new safety and mobility measures, and new artificial intelligence advancements. Overall, organizations need to embrace a culture of creativity and adapt in order to stay competitive.

As the saying goes, change can be scary. Creating change requires a certain mindset that allows professionals to welcome changes instead of resisting them. Taking risks can be stressful but it can also lead to opportunities for growth as well as provide organizations with competitive advantages and the ability to gain new market opportunities and higher returns on investment. In addition, risks taken that do not lead to success can also teach lessons and help organizations know what doesn’t work and what to avoid in the future. 

Simply stated, staying ahead of the curve is absolutely worth it as those in the auto industry can implement the latest trends to meet consumer demands, which in turn allows more opportunities and increased profits. 

Advantages of having a creative perspective

Fostering a culture of creativity and innovation in the auto industry is crucial and has many benefits. Firstly, aside from new products, innovative professionals in the automotive retail sector are able to embrace other new technologies including the latest customer relationship management systems, inventory management software, and data analytic tools. Making investments in these resources gives valuable insights into the day-to-day and long-term operations of a business. 

Being creative and innovative can also allow dealerships to better operate with a customer-centric approach. New technology options allow for more efficient and effective ways of receiving feedback (both positive and negative) and analyzing consumer data to see both what is working well and what can be improved. Digital marketing and online paperwork and payment options have also been well-received by consumers and can help retain and attract customers. 

Sparking creativity starts at the top

Leaders should encourage a culture of creativity and innovation within their organizations, as this will make employees feel more comfortable sharing suggestions and new possibilities. Creating a safe space for brainstorming and idea-sharing can make all employees feel comfortable and not judged. Many employees are worried their feedback and suggestions will be deemed crazy or ridiculous, but sometimes the strangest ideas lead to the best solutions.

Many employees are more inclined to share their ideas if management teams contribute their ideas as well. Leaders can provide their own insights that their employees can build off of, therefore potentially leading to a solid solution for their businesses. All members of the team should be encouraged to participate and leaders can even set certain objectives if it will give meetings more structure. Of course, if certain employees would rather share ideas privately, that should also be encouraged. 

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Remaining open and inclusive can help employees feel more comfortable sharing out-of-the-box ideas that may lead to great results for a dealership or business. This fosters a sense of collaboration, which enhances teamwork and overall success. It also makes more employees willing to partake in creativity/innovation sessions as it has been well-documented that employees who feel they are valued are more motivated to engage with their teams. 

Some dealerships and organizations find it useful to create a group or team specifically focused on innovation. Of course, these groups should be made up of people with diverse viewpoints and skill sets to make sure a broad variety of ideas are introduced. This process can begin with hiring as organizations can benefit from building a diverse workforce with people from all different backgrounds who bring unique sets of experiences and knowledge, both in life and in the industry. Pilot programs to try new ideas can also be useful to test things out before implementing a business-wide change. 

Final thoughts

Ultimately, embracing diverse perspectives within an organization can make its culture more innovative and strengthen employee engagement, which in turn can improve the decisions a business makes and lead to an improvement in customer satisfaction and higher business success overall. 

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Kimberly Hurley
Kimberly Hurley
Kimberly Hurley is a contributing writer and investigative journalist for CBT News, with over a decade of experience specializing in automotive, healthcare, and manufacturing. She enjoys working with industry professionals throughout the world to develop engaging, and accurate content.

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