As a leader, how do you drive innovation within your company? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Andy Marsh, Plug Power CEO, on Quora:

With decades of experience leading technology innovation, I've learned that it's essential to keep the technology and talent at the forefront of all decisions in order to inspire continued innovation. Innovation starts with a fundamental concept - find a problem that needs to be fixed, and fix it.

Don't be afraid to fail.

Innovation is hard work. Your team must be encouraged to put in the time and also to take chances. Sometimes, those chances result in failure. But, fail upwards. Every result is a path to another result. Giving your team the ability to "get it wrong the first time" inspires a culture of creativity and passion to continue innovating.

Set hard, yet achievable goals.

Goal setting is proven to have a positive impact; according to McKinsey, 91 percent of companies that have effective performance management systems say that employee goals are linked to business priorities. Give your team challenging, yet achievable targets to help push them in the right direction and encourage them to continue performing even when they're dealing with the challenges of growing technology.

Motivate and inspire.

Adopting new technologies and processes can be challenging for employees, making it easy to lose motivation. It's essential to the success of innovation to keep employees engaged and motivated. Research from 5 Dynamics says that happy employees are 20 percent more productive than unhappy employees. There are many ways to drive motivation, including team activities and goal setting. Find a mixture that works for your business and employees -- old and new -- and dedicate time to ensuring they feel fulfilled.

Innovation is fun, but comes with its on set of challenges. But one thing is certain - your innovators have spent time and energy building and growing something they believe in and the technology they've created ignited something great. Ensure employees understand the value of their talent and innovative spirit - encourage that passion and build something even stronger together.

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