Everybody wants it, nobody seems to have it: A culture of innovation. But what exactly do we mean when we call for a culture of innovation? After all, how can we create a desired culture, if we don’t know exactly what it looks like?
As much as we all seem to refer to the same thing when we talk about, an innovative culture could look very different from company to company.
To track the direction we want to go, it may help to break down the three major components of an innovative culture.
Productivity/Creativity: For many companies, an innovative culture means increased productivity and creativity. The desired end result is to achieve or sustain a competitive advantage in the market by creating more and better products or services.
Learning/Agile Organization: For other companies the aim is to learn how to learn as an organization and to develop an agility that allows the company to adapt to unforeseen circumstances or – in a best case scenario – create disruptive change in their market fields.
Intrapreneurial Mindset: The third component of an innovative culture cuts deep into the behavior and mindset of the members of the organization. The aim here is to develop a pro-active, intrapreneurial mindset and attitude among the people who work for the organization.
With these three broader distinctions on the table, it has to be noticed that they reside on different organizational levels. While improved productivity and creativity may only be relevant for specific departments, the desire to become a learning or an agile organization affects the organization as a whole. Aiming to influence the mindset and the behavior of the members of the organization can be valid for selected departments or across the organization. It all depends on the specific case.
If you are thinking of an organizational culture change, the most important thing to consider is which aspect or combination of aspects are most important to you and then decide which levels of the organization you ultimately need to impact for your change initiative to be successful.
One last word about the feasibility of creating an innovative culture: Regardless of whether you are looking to increase and improve productivity, agility or an intrapreneurial mindset, be warned that none of these changes come easily. A thorough analysis of your existing organizational culture will be necessary to see how and where you can have the most impact on your organization.
About the author:
Erika Jacobi is the President of LC GLOBAL Consulting Inc., a boutique change and innovation consulting firm with offices in New York City and Munich, Germany. LC GLOBAL® leads organizations through important change and innovation processes to pave the way for unique transformation and sustainable growth. For more information visit www.lc-global-us.com or follow us on Youtube at http://bit.ly/1CPbMQ5.