In our previous blog posts, we have discussed the Innovation Cycle, detect – correct, innovation vs status quo, and improving communication through innovation. Now for the nitty gritty, if you will: how do we create an innovation culture throughout our organizations?
First, let’s reemphasize that the “detect – correct” cycle is important to stability, profitability and security. What we are advocating is making innovation a higher value activity that creates new outcomes, which then become part of our operations and are subsequently managed by “detect – correct”.
As with anything that creates culture within an organization, it is about what is valued most, and what is promoted and reinforced most.
We have all clients who emphasize core values as primary discussion point in hiring, coaching, repositioning and removing. By placing so much emphasis on those values, an organizational culture is created around the core values, which everyone turns to for direction, decision making and behavior expected.
The challenge for many organizations is the emphasis on “detect – correct,” which then becomes the cultural base. People default to the “detect – correct” behavior first because it is the focus of the leadership and thus the culture. This is not a bad thing, yet does it foster a true innovation culture within the organization?
A few questions for you to ponder:
- How often are employees allowed to experiment with new ideas, techniques or processes?
- What is the reaction from leadership when a new or different idea or solution is presented?
- If a department or division began doing something very different, how would the rest of leadership respond?
- Does your organization allow specific time, resources or support for working on new ideas or experimentation?
- How often do people from various parts of your organization get together to problem-solve, innovate or challenge the status quo?
- Does leadership actually walk around among employees for the sole purpose of observation and learning new information?
- How often does leadership specifically block time for creative thinking or clarity breaks?
Those are a few questions to ponder. If you can give an absolute YES to all of them, you most likely have a highly innovative culture already. On the other hand, if all are a no, you have a huge opportunity to become far more competitive than you are.
At your next Strategic Planning session, pose the above questions and discuss how your leadership might infuse innovation into your organization. Just by opening the discussion, you’ll make a great start on creating an innovation culture.
Want more on InnovatorMindset, Strategic Planning, and culture development?
Our next post will be on improving our awareness, or Reality Phase.
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