1. Personally accept failure as an opportunity to improve and not as an opportunity to discipline.
Failure is an unplanned output of a process that surfaces during process implementation. While the process was performed exactly as it was designed, the way a leader corrects inefficiencies will impact the outcome. Allowing an organization to fail will prime it for innovation, Rodriguez told the audience.
2. Encourage respectful disagreement within your organization.
While this seems counterintuitive, disagreements or non-alignment of perspectives are key factors to establishing an innovative culture.
"If everyone agrees 100% of the time, your organization cannot be innovative," Rodriguez said.
3. Set up the innovation framework for success.
"Make innovation a priority right up there with safety, schedule, cost and quality performance," Rodriguez said.
Process efficiencies and new approaches to solving a company's biggest issues should be a requirement, he emphasized.
4. Formally establish an innovation team.
Innovation team members should includes workers from different functions and operational areas of responsibilities. The craziest ideas often are the best ones that lead to true innovation.
5. Create opportunities for early career professionals to lead.
Engage on a purposeful journey to create higher-level opportunities for early career professionals, Rodriguez suggested.
Early career professionals often are buried under the weight of an organization and are an uptapped resource for innovation.