How to Develop A Culture of Innovation

Culture plays a fundamental role in determining if and how fast organizations can transform and respond to external shifts. Innovation involves people and getting people to share and develop ideas together.

 

Increasing an organization’s innovative culture score will take time and can be done with little steps along the way.  Awareness, recognition, collaboration and cross pollination all contribute to creating a more innovative culture.

 

Awareness: Putting focus and attention on innovation is essential. This needs to be articulated at all levels. It’s even more helpful if employees at all levels understand how innovation applies to their jobs and how they can contribute to innovation.

 

Recognition: Rewarding people for bringing forward, building on top of and implementing innovative ideas helps get the idea across that innovation is a priority for the organization.

 

Collaboration: Creating environments where employees want to contribute ideas involves removing silos and territories. This can be done through focusing teams and groups on resolving common problems together. Increasing networking and encouraging movement within the organization will increase understanding of other departments’ perspectives and create bonds across departments.  When employees know and respect counterparts in other parts of the organization barriers to collaborating, discussing challenges and resolving challenges are lowered.

 

Part of creating a culture of innovation and increasing collaboration includes implementing technology to assist in working together, identify processes and tools for collaborating and sharing ideas, and creating facilitated sessions centered on developing ideas or solving challenges.

 

 

Questions to Ask:

  • How is the need to innovate being communicated to everyone within your organization?
  • What processes are in place so you are hearing from all levels in the organization?  Really dig into this – for example, is open door policy really being adhered to?
  • What technology tools are you using to collaborate? Is there more than one tool and does your organization know when to use each tool?
  • How can you contribute to increasing collaboration in the organization?

Where does your organization’s culture on the scale below?

Culture

People working in silos & protecting territories.

Little collaboration.

Can do attitude.

Culture of figuring out how to make ideas work. High degree of collaboration

 

 

Take our Innovation Maturity Model Assessment to identify other areas your organization can increase innovation.