Editor's Note: If you are interested in becoming an expert on Organizational Culture (OC), take a look at Flevy's Organizational Culture (OC) Frameworks offering here. This is a curated collection of best practice frameworks based on the thought leadership of leading consulting firms, academics, and recognized subject matter experts. By learning and applying these concepts, you can you stay ahead of the curve. Full details here.
Organizational Culture Re-defined: 5 Behaviors Critical to Creating an Innovation Culture
Featured Best Practice on Innovation Culture
* * * *
Inspiring breakthrough innovation in business models and solutions is becoming critical for organizations’ existence, as startups through their innovation have been consistently disrupting large organizations globally. To foster innovation, the key ingredient is creating an organizational culture that encourages innovation in all spheres. Every organization, today, aspires to nurture a culture of innovation where employees are motivated to take initiatives that result in the creation of innovative products. However, the actual execution of this aspiration and developing such a culture baffles many senior executives, and eventually inhibits the success of innovation endeavors.
Senior executives often focus entirely on how to set up an innovative culture. In doing so, they overlook meticulously planning and executing initiatives required to develop an innovation-focused culture. Corporate Culture is the outcome of collective behaviors, which necessitates the employees to embrace innovative behaviors at the outset. The culture automatically becomes innovation focused when people become more creative.
Research on the most critical element for success reveals “right leadership” and “culture” to be the top priority for CEOs. Other areas of importance in the creation of a culture of innovation include creative potential, readiness to teamwork, and willingness to challenge the status quo. Innovation is slowly becoming a priority for most organizations, so much so that many enterprises now anticipate their employees to assign proper time to generate new ideas.
To instill an Innovation Culture, organizations need to converge their emphasis on shifting the existing behaviors of their people to 5 key behaviors that are critical in creating an Innovation Culture. Widespread adoption of these 5 behaviors is essential for making innovation part of the organizational DNA:
- Ecosystem-wide Collaboration
- Support for Intrapreneurs
- Speed and Agility
- A Venture Capitalist Mindset
- Operational Excellence (OpEx) Coupled with Innovation
Now, let’s take a deeper view of the first 3 behaviors critical for creating an innovation culture.
Innovation warrants effective teamwork and strong coordination between discrete departments, specialties, locations, vendors, and partners. To develop an innovative culture and organization-wide collaboration, leaders need to select top people internally and capable partners externally, and mobilize them to integrate like a single team.
Strong external partnerships are just as valuable and provide you the opportunity to utilize the intellect of smart people outside the boundaries of your organization—to create a differential edge over your competitors. Teamwork, inter-departmental partnerships, and external alliances help deliver optimum solutions and breakthrough products. This also allows for quicker development of business ideas.
Support for Intrapreneurs
Intrapreneurs are internal employees within large organizations who are gifted with an entrepreneurial mindset, which they use—alongside enterprise resources—to turn an idea into a profitable product or solution through assertive risk-taking and innovation. Intrapreneurs should be motivated to qualify opportunities and shape them into high-yielding innovations by providing access to corporate resources and collaboration.
In order to support intrapreneurs to be successful, leadership needs to measure and recognize their innovative potential and accomplishments. For instance, the percentage of employees trained in innovation processes and the magnitude and potency of the collaboration ecosystem. This can also be in the form of number of meaningful ideas in an intrapreneur’s pipeline, stability and robustness of the innovation portfolio, and the prompt pace of commercialization of ideas.
Speed and Agility
Developing an innovation culture necessitates broad readiness to adopt and leverage new technologies effectively and promptly. Adopting agile mindsets and approaches helps organizations take actions quickly to changing trends or circumstances, keep the innovation running, and displace competitors that have significantly more resources. Agile approaches also facilitate in quickly distinguishing and selecting ideas, and commercializing the ideas through prototyping.
Interested in learning more about the 5 key behaviors essential for making innovation part of the organizational DNA? You can download an editable PowerPoint on Innovation Culture here on the Flevy documents marketplace.
Do You Find Value in This Framework?
You can download in-depth presentations on this and hundreds of similar business frameworks from the FlevyPro Library. FlevyPro is trusted and utilized by 1000s of management consultants and corporate executives. Here’s what some have to say:
“My FlevyPro subscription provides me with the most popular frameworks and decks in demand in today’s market. They not only augment my existing consulting and coaching offerings and delivery, but also keep me abreast of the latest trends, inspire new products and service offerings for my practice, and educate me in a fraction of the time and money of other solutions. I strongly recommend FlevyPro to any consultant serious about success.”
– Bill Branson, Founder at Strategic Business Architects
“As a niche strategic consulting firm, Flevy and FlevyPro frameworks and documents are an on-going reference to help us structure our findings and recommendations to our clients as well as improve their clarity, strength, and visual power. For us, it is an invaluable resource to increase our impact and value.”
– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting
“As a small business owner, the resource material available from FlevyPro has proven to be invaluable. The ability to search for material on demand based our project events and client requirements was great for me and proved very beneficial to my clients. Importantly, being able to easily edit and tailor the material for specific purposes helped us to make presentations, knowledge sharing, and toolkit development, which formed part of the overall program collateral. While FlevyPro contains resource material that any consultancy, project or delivery firm must have, it is an essential part of a small firm or independent consultant’s toolbox.”
– Michael Duff, Managing Director at Change Strategy (UK)
“FlevyPro has been a brilliant resource for me, as an independent growth consultant, to access a vast knowledge bank of presentations to support my work with clients. In terms of RoI, the value I received from the very first presentation I downloaded paid for my subscription many times over! The quality of the decks available allows me to punch way above my weight – it’s like having the resources of a Big 4 consultancy at your fingertips at a microscopic fraction of the overhead.”
– Roderick Cameron, Founding Partner at SGFE Ltd
“Several times a month, I browse FlevyPro for presentations relevant to the job challenge I have (I am a consultant). When the subject requires it, I explore further and buy from the Flevy Marketplace. On all occasions, I read them, analyze them. I take the most relevant and applicable ideas for my work; and, of course, all this translates to my and my clients’ benefits.”
– Omar Hernán Montes Parra, CEO at Quantum SFE
Want to Achieve Excellence in Organizational Culture (OC)?
Gain the knowledge and develop the expertise to become an expert in Organizational Culture (OC). Our frameworks are based on the thought leadership of leading consulting firms, academics, and recognized subject matter experts. Click here for full details.
Organizational Culture, also referred to as Corporate Culture or Company Culture, is the set of underlying and shared beliefs, vision, assumptions, values, habits, business philosophies, and ways of interacting that contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of the organization.
Organizational Culture permeates the organization, affecting all functions and all levels. It starts with what employees do and how they do it—and ultimately drives why employees do what they do. Culture is like the DNA of the organization.
That is why a healthy Company Culture leads to strong Performance, Growth, and Excellence—and the opposite is also true. For any initiative to be successful, we need a Corporate Culture that inherently supports that initiative.
Learn about our Organizational Culture (OC) Best Practice Frameworks here.
Readers of This Article Are Interested in These Resources
About Mark BridgesMark Bridges is a Senior Director of Strategy at Flevy. Flevy is your go-to resource for best practices in business management, covering management topics from Strategic Planning to Operational Excellence to Digital Transformation (view full list here). Learn how the Fortune 100 and global consulting firms do it. Improve the growth and efficiency of your organization by leveraging Flevy's library of best practice methodologies and templates. Prior to Flevy, Mark worked as an Associate at McKinsey & Co. and holds an MBA from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago. You can connect with Mark on LinkedIn here.
Top 4 Recommended Documents on Innovation Culture
» View more resources Innovation Culture here.
» View the Top 100 Best Practices on Flevy.