It’s been a year since I wrote 6 Ways to Create a Culture of Innovation for FastCompany. Since then, the article has received an incredible amount of social media sharing, including over 11k shares on LinkedIn alone. Why such a big response? Simple answer: We know the soft stuff is the hardest stuff to manage.
While there isn’t a formula for creating a culture of innovation, there are principles and practices that anyone can use to understand your current culture, define the values and behavior you want, and do things to get it.
We just created a video that anyone can use to make the case for creating a culture of innovation. In today’s world, it’s not too bold to argue that culture is the source of competitive advantage, and that’s what this video shows. Feel free to download it and share it at your next staff meeting or corporate event – the more we can instill the values of innovation democracy into our corporations, the more competitive we’ll all become.
View the YouTube video, Create a Culture of Innovation for Competitive Advantage:
And here are strategies that anyone can use to begin to move their culture in the innovation direction, directly from my original article on creating an innovation culture in FastCompany:
- Be intentional with your innovation intent – Frame the way you want to change the world and make it about the customer.
- Create a structure for unstructured time –Provide employees with “unstructured” time to explore and tinker.
- Step in, then step back – Provide tools that give guidance and structure, but let employees decide how best to use and apply them.
- Measure what’s meaningful – Because “you get what you measure,” select metrics that reinforce your innovation goals.
- Give “worthless” rewards – Don’t just recognize people through formal awards, but rather promote recognition everyday through informal interactions.
- Get symbolic – Understand that mission statements, awards, stories of successes and failures, posters in the hallways, catch phrases, and acronyms all shape culture. Create your own symbols that reinforce innovation values.
In most organizations, soft stuff really is the hard stuff – and it’s also the most important and most ignored stuff. How will YOU create your unique culture of innovation?