A Culture of Innovation: We All Talk About It, But What Does It Take To Create It?

Expert: Cris BeswickCurator: Hans Balmaekers

Entrepreneur & CEO turned strategic advisor & troubleshooter on innovation to some of the world’s most ambitious companies #author #speaker

01 // What is a culture of innovation?

02 // What is the process for creating such a culture?

03 // What is the role of old-fashioned change managemen?

// Summary

For some, a culture of innovation comes naturally; it’s just what they do.

For others, becoming truly innovative requires work and deep organizational change. Curator Hans Balmaekers chatted with Cris Beswick about what it takes to innovate, and why embedding a culture of innovation will future-proof your organization.

Think of innovation as an outcome

Rather than thinking of innovation as something that needs to be found or acquired, organizations can reap greater benefits when they view innovation as the end result, an outcome amongst others.

Shift from finding or building a culture of innovation to cultivating the key ingredients of it: creativity, design thinking, inspiration and future thinking and most importantly, a clear strategy and great innovation-focused leadership

Redesign around desired behaviours

Identify the behaviours, skills and capabilities that are truly going to drive innovation – and then redesign your organization around them.

Organizations like Cisco are building innovation into their very core. The natural by-products of this shift include a better culture overall, higher performance and globally more collaborative and engaged people. While on their quest for innovation, most organizations don’t traditionally look at these returns. But these returns won’t happen if leadership teams are wholly focused around meeting financial targets.

Look beyond short-term gains

To orient your organization around innovation, shift your focus from short-term financial targets to long-term capability and cultural transformation.

When you build innovative capacity across your organization, the culture it creates leads to fundamentally better and more creative results. Expect a tenfold increase in those same pieces of low-hanging fruit or bits of innovation that you were previously targeting.

Expect continuous transformation

People often ask about the difference between change management and innovation: Is innovation just the latest in a long line of change management methodologies? For Cris, change implies a stop from one thing to another, but in today’s world, organizations are in continuous transition.

Instead of seeing change as a series of stepping stones where you wait between steps, prepare your organization for fluid, continuous transition.

Ingredients for creating a culture of innovation
Clarity of purpose
Freedom to express yourself as an employee
Freedom to challenge the status quo
Technology that enables collaboration

Too slow to change
60% of senior teams admit they do not know their customers well enough.
55–60% of senior teams admit that their organization’s structure hampers idea sharing and creativity.
55–60% of big, global corporate organizations still take the same amount of time to bring a new idea to market as they did five years ago.

The next generation organization
Focus on gathering unarticulated wants & needs
Focus on agility & execution
Focus on internal & external creative communities
Innovation-driven competitive advantage