Building a Culture of Innovation

Innovation is a key recipe for success, yet most organizations still struggle to generate and execute enough new ideas to the desired level of novelty. There are many aspects critical to innovation, but successful companies seem to share the common denominator of a visionary leadership and culture that facilitates innovation.

The non-tangible aspects of innovation
Innovation builds upon several cornerstones, where e.g., clear ways of working, in both the strategic and development phases, sets the standards for how organizations shall generate ideas and realize them. However, this is not enough to be able to create more disruptive innovation over time. What separates the champions from the laggards are often the non-tangible aspects, such as the organizational culture related governance.

How to create an innovative culture?
Successful companies have managed to create a culture of innovation, which provides an atmosphere favoring creativity and acts as the guiding perception towards what is important, desirable, and acceptable.

“A healthy culture and the resulting psychological safety allow for greater learning, which contribute to innovation”

Great leaders share a compelling vision to align the team but provides autonomy to reach the target. The members are encouraged to find their own creative solution on which the leaders provide constructive and supportive feedback.

Creative teams need passionate members who dare to experiment and are ready to take risks, as innovation often comes from a series of observations and experiments that provides feedback on which the members can adapt and recombine various ideas.

Clear governance to drive innovation
The discipline of managing innovation has become a key competitive advantage, and leaders with the ability to set clear direction and targets, while still encouraging experimentation and remove blame of failures is consistently generating most success.

“If you are not failing, you are not innovative enough”

Moreover, leaders must demonstrate commitment to innovation, use evidence-based decision making and carefully allocate available resource to the high-potential projects.

Considerations for organizations going forward
Many industries are facing transformations right now where e.g., new disruptive technologies and business models change the current business landscape. Setting a challenging and inspiring vision in combination with a strong innovative culture will for sure be key aspects for success.

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