One of the keys for organizational growth and continued relevance is innovation. We have seen top brands become extinct because of their management’s inability to innovate on their products, services, and processes. It is also a known fact that there is a shorter time horizon for companies today to create value needed to sustain its position in the eyes of the consumer, and innovation is a key parameter to staying relevant.
What is innovation? It’s more than just new ideas—it’s the ability, as an organization, to both conceptualize and act on them. It’s the process of converting ideas into new products, services, or approaches that bring value to the consumer and/or the business. In organisations today, innovation is no longer the sole preserve of Research and Development department. Innovation is no longer only seen as an event with a new product in mind. Innovation is a continuous search for improvements across the entire organisation, relying on the input of all employees.
For organisations, especially one with a thriving Research & Development department, the problem is not likely to be with conceptualization or idea generation, it would be more of acting on them, having in place a system that allow these ideas to flourish, it’s about engaging all employees to come up with ways they can improve their activities on a regular basis, It’s about having a culture of innovation.
A culture of innovation is an environment that supports creative thinking and advances efforts to extract economic and social value from knowledge, and, in doing so, generates new or improved products, services or processes. A culture of innovation provides the foundation for organizations to conceptualize and create new products and services, anticipate opportunities, emerge in new markets, and make rapid adjustments.
A culture of innovation is a multi-dimensional context which includes:
- The deliberate intention to be innovative
- The infrastructure to support innovation
- Operational level behaviours necessary to influence a market and value orientation
- The environment to implement innovation
Igniting innovation requires leadership and culture change. All entrepreneurs are passionate about what they do, and knowing how to infuse an entire organisation with that passion is critical to building a culture of innovation.
Why invest in building a strong innovation culture?
- To ensure better performance and superior return
- To create sustainable competitive advantage
- To drive new product development and customer retention
- To maximize benefits to stakeholders
Structures to enable, incubate, and test new ideas help the most innovative organizations bring winning concepts to the market. Without a culture of trust, these structures fail to function. For innovation to thrive, trust must be present: people have to be willing to take risks, share their best ideas, be allowed to learn from failure, and collaborate intensively. Conversely, when trust is absent, innovation doesn’t work.
Partnering with Great Place to Work® helps you to develop a culture where:
- People at every level are more willing to take risks
- There are resources, role-modeling, training, and processes for innovation
- There is openness to new ideas and cooperation among leaders and teams
Organizations work with us to:
- Assess the current enablers and inhibitors of innovation
- Provide expert consultation on improving trust and accelerating innovation
- Quantify the impact on your company’s innovation performance metrics