How Do You Create a Culture of Innovation?
A recent post from the Gallup Management Journal, suggest 6 steps to creating an organization of innovation. How do you create innovation in your culture? Is failure tolerated, scorned or encouraged?
Too often, mistakes are treated with such negative energy that we squash innovations. Or, only the few that “know the system” are successful innovators while the rest of the ideas are never mentioned.
According to Jason Krieger, in the “new normal,” fostering innovation will be a driver of organic growth.
Since the Industrial Revolution, there have been three main business innovations. The first was neoclassical economics to drive a supply-and-demand economy. The second occurred in the 1980s and 1990s when companies like Toyota, GE, and others used process improvement (Six Sigma, lean manufacturing) to drive profitability and growth.
A new major business model will drive innovation: behavioral economics.
In today’s marketplace, these models no longer provide the competitive advantage they once did. So the third major business model will be the driver of innovation moving forward. This model is behavioral economics.
Whether these three models were product driven, knowledge driven, or innovation driven, one thing remains constant: They all need people and managers. To execute, you must choose to use people as allies rather than adversaries. Behavioral economics is the science that allows this to occur. There are three mechanisms or levers that an organization can pull to drive innovation using behavioral economic principles. They are culture measurements, capability assessments, and selection of the idea catalysts (the organization’s people).
To build a culture that fosters innovation, an organization must hire for innovation talent, build teams that are diverse in talent, and fit individuals to the right role to drive success. Once the people have been identified and placed, management must provide the right training and onboarding relative to innovation and should train managers for skills needed to drive innovative talent.
In addition, firms must have useful metrics, and these should be embedded in the culture of the organization. These metrics include benchmarking tools that allow companies to compare themselves to the best in industry and the best in class. There also must be robust customer input to allow for adequate feedback to the innovation process. Lastly, organizations must have an employee engagement program. Gallup’s research indicates that high levels of employee engagement correlate to more idea sharing, better idea generation, more creativity in role, and improved business outcomes (on key items, including customer metrics, productivity, and profitability).
In order to execute on this culture of innovation, firms must have six keys in place.
Onboarding and training
An innovation scorecard
Please follow the link to see the complete article, originally published in The HR Director. There is more details on each of the 6 keys. Yet, how do you see the 6 keys affecting innovation in your organization?