In my work helping organisations to be more innovative, I often hear people say “we need to fix the culture” - it’s a popular catchphrase, especially among consultants. But what does it mean? What aspects of culture actually need to be “fixed”? (By the way - I don’t agree, and if you wait for culture to be “fixed”, before you start in innovating, it may be too late - but that’s the subject of another blog).
Here’s what I think of the three aspects of culture, which will have the biggest impact on innovation (in no particular order).
1. Trust and Openness
By its very nature, innovation involves failure. Your people need to know that it’s okay to fail (sensibly, of course). They also need to know what’s going on, so they can contribute, and hear about other people’s failures to learn.
2. Challenge and Involvement
What most stimulates staff is the chance to create something - it’s a very primal drive. So setting challenges, and letting your people get involved with them is hugely energising for innovation.
3. Support and Space for Ideas
One of the three key dimensions of high-performance is “capacity”, (the other two are willingness and capability). Capacity for innovation means being given the space - time, money, facilities - to experiment.
So creating an environment of trust with people, feeling challenged and involved and having an opportunity to innovate goes a long way to creating a more innovative organisation - and getting sustainable ahead of the pack.
Where does your organisation stand on these? If you would like to use our innovation diagnostic (suitable for small teams and large organisations), to find out where your organisation stands with regard to the innovation pipeline - please get in touch on +61 (0)438 545 607 or email Cris at firstname.lastname@example.org.