"Professional achievements are the product of a person, and significantly dependent on the goals that persons set for themselves in their professional activity. If these goals concern professional development, then this is connected with the fact that persons not only work through tasks, but also influence the range of tasks at their workplace, that they select or develop and define new tasks, thereby detect weaknesses in their knowledge and skills themselves and actively seek to overcome them. Self-organized learning processes are described as its main mechanism, and the applicability, the usability of what is learned, as the most important motive. Thus, occupational performance is essentially dependent on the control of personal resources, on how much life time and energy persons devote to the development of occupational performance." (Bergmann) This is also the source of expertise, the condition of high competence, which in turn is an important prerequisite for a person's capability to innovate.
The starting point for an innovation is the recognition of the need for change, an awareness of the problem, which leads to the active search for an idea, which is then put into concrete goals in order to be able to implement it step by step. This is followed by the phase of trial and error and fine-tuning with the given parameters, and last but not least, the communication of the new ideas and methods.
A person's problem awareness is based on his existing knowledge and on his ability to actively think about necessary and desirable changes. However, in order to actually set an innovation in motion, it requires the individual ability and willingness to participate in the necessary changes. Successful innovations require the willingness to go the extra mile, to set goals for oneself and strive to achieve them, to move forward step by step, and even to accept missteps and failures.
In order to be able to assess how capable a company is of innovation, one must understand that innovations cannot be controlled centrally. Innovations always emerge by chance at the edges of organizations when employees are concerned with the products, the customers, the competitors or the processes. They emerge as a creative achievement in the minds of employees - all employees, not just those in any one department. The impetus for innovation that is needed today does not come from an internal improvement system. It is no longer a question of small-step improvement of the existing - but of radical innovations that can even cannibalize the company's own business model.
Experience shows that an environment in which employees can openly and courageously contribute their thoughts on the further development of the company also leads to a high level of employee satisfaction. Unfortunately, the reverse is also true: Low employee satisfaction is usually accompanied by an inner distance of the employees from the company's activities. In such cultures, it is rare to find employees who are full of energy, have a high level of personal responsibility, and put their heart and soul into moving things forward. An absolute warning sign must therefore be the 2015 survey by the Gallup polling firm, which shows that only 16 percent of employees in Germany are highly motivated. 84 percent are not - this is where the creative and energetic potential with which companies can master the future lies dormant.