Innovation is a powerful, but often overused word and concept. Every company strives for innovation, but few truly understand how to create a culture that drives it.
In my 20 plus years of experience with industry-leading companies and leaders, I have found that innovation does not just happen, it is intentionally designed and nurtured to grow in a company. Innovation requires intentionality and design.
Over the years I have supported companies that are truly innovative and what I see is a culture where individuals feel safe to speak their mind, and an openness within the team to embrace tension and conflict and learn from it.
As companies make it safer for their staff to share their ideas and to learn from their mistakes, innovation will shine through. New ideas & insights will emerge creating an “Innovation Mindset” within the company.
In a great video called, Why Your Organization Isn’t Really Serious About Innovation, global innovation expert, Gary Hamel, speaks to the competitive advantages a company gains through innovation and the 3 key questions that all frontline staff need to answer to see how truly serious your company is about developing a “Culture of Innovation”.
Is your company serious about innovation? Ask these 3 key questions to your frontline staff:
- Have you been given training on how to be a business innovator?
Frontline staff do not automatically know how to be innovators. Training and a listening strategy is needed to capture possibilities.
- Do you have access to experimental funding?
Do frontline staff have access to time outside their daily responsibilities and money to experiment for innovation?
- Is management held accountable for innovation by measurable metrics?
If you are serious about building a culture of innovation, there must be systems in place for tracking and measuring innovation within the organization.
Answer the 3 Gary Hamel questions to see how serious your company is about innovation. Determine a new conversation you could start with your staff to begin developing a “Culture of Innovation”?