The Culture of Innovation is one of the current pillars for any company that wants to remain relevant, updated, and competitive in the corporate market. In recent years, the model has increasingly attracted the attention of organizations due to the advantages and results that the practice brings to the business, such as improvements in processes, gain in agility in the company’s day-to-day activities, and greater engagement of internal teams, among other factors.
However, implementing an innovative culture goes far beyond creating relaxed environments, isolated dynamics, and superficial discourse. The process requires time and practice so that internal teams learn, absorb, and start working according to the new mentality. Expecting positive results from small isolated actions is a mistaken expectation that can generate frustration. In addition, it is common for there to be barriers in this process since it promotes changes in the routines, often already overloaded, of internal teams.
Implementing a culture of innovation is a positive and essential change for the survival of any company. However, impeding bureaucracies and cultures resistant to change can reduce the company’s potential for success.
With this, we have gathered 5 aspects that deserve to be highlighted in the implementation of a thriving innovation culture:
- Internal communication
- Error acceptance culture
- Training of internal teams
- Measuring results
1- Internal Communication
One of the most significant challenges leaders face when implementing an innovative culture is communicating objectives and goals. Clearly communicate the purposes that the company wants to achieve and, in addition, how innovation is expected to contribute to its growth, reduces the chances of misunderstandings, as well as improves the engagement and participation of the team around an objective common. The need for objectivity can discourage employees.
Therefore, there must be transparency in communication between all company levels to avoid or mitigate the possibility of misinterpretations. As well as creating a safe work environment in which employees feel comfortable speaking out and making suggestions about the actions and tactics to be carried out. In this way, a two-way street is created, in which the message is no longer just transmitted from the upper level to the other levels in a static and imposing way.
Another way to improve the company’s communication is by clarifying the objectives of actions and strategies, ensuring that the message is understood directly and concisely. To avoid possible misinterpretations, it is also interesting to align the views of the internal teams with the company’s vision and direction. With everyone following the same path, the chances of success are more significant.
Some attitudes that companies can adopt to improve internal communication are:
- Promote brainstorming sessions;
- Use of tools that facilitate the arrangement and flow of information;
- Creation of an open communication channel in which everyone is free to suggest recommendations;
- Organization of internal events, where employees can interact and present ideas, innovation themes, solutions, and technologies to solve challenges.
The Corporate Innovation Canvas is a tool that helps align and direct the innovation strategy, enabling accurate communication and ensuring assertiveness for future actions and decisions related to innovation. We make this tool available for free, and you can put it into practice right now.
2- Error acceptance culture
To innovate, you must accept that failures will appear along the way. However, many companies that want to innovate in the market believe innovation must be a single and direct hit. Otherwise, it would be a waste of time and money.
With this outdated mindset, many businesses fail to reach their true potential. We even discussed this subject in the blog post Innovation Barriers: Discover 3 Obstacles Companies Encounter when Innovating and How to Overcome Them.
Failing to learn from mistakes and identifying and understanding why actions were not performed correctly is a standard process in companies with a culture of innovation. This is a testing phase that aims to achieve the objectives and results in a more agile way and with fewer resources. However, it is not about deliberately accepting failures but about a calculated and measured error, which will bring learning and bring the company closer to achieving its objectives. In addition, there must be a margin of time and resources to enable the necessary processes and experiments.
Tolerance is fundamental in a culture of innovation because trial and error, hypotheses, and their validations are part of the process of agile and intelligent work. Expecting results to always appear on the first attempt is an expectation that can generate frustration and, therefore, demotivate those involved in the process, hindering cultural transformation and slowing down the innovation process as a whole.
Therefore, promoting an environment that does not punish those trying to find intelligent and different ways to bring results is essential. Instead, it offers resources so that good ideas and hypotheses can be tested and, if they present adverse effects, generate learning. Thus, in addition to creating an agile team, you will significantly increase the chances of achieving successful results quickly and effectively.
Diversifying the team is an excellent way to accelerate the innovation process; each individual brings unique experiences and perspectives that can complement a team. A bubble forms when a company prefers to create groups of people with similar social and demographic characteristics. In this way, not only the diversity of people is excluded, but also ideas, values, and points of view that, when together, can create disruptive and innovative solutions and projects.
Some ways to diversify internal teams are:
Preparation of internal policies that will take care of representation in the organizational culture;
Creation of metrics and goals that aim to reach a certain number of minority employees;
Formation of multidisciplinary and multicultural teams, which will seek solutions to internal challenges and the creation/development of new businesses/products.
4- Training of Internal Teams
With a more dynamic and competitive market dedicated to attracting customers and retaining talent and sound professionals, training is a significant differential to achieve successful results.
Qualifying internal teams brings excellent advantages to the company, such as increased work efficiency, more engagement and dedication to projects, improved productivity, and, most importantly, the value of internal teams and resources.
The results achieved are directly linked to the participation and efforts of employees. Without their commitment and involvement in activities and strategies, companies may not reach their positions in today’s market and would not have the same results. Therefore, investing in internal teams is essential to increase the productivity and prosperity of any business.
When we talk about innovation, there are several options for training a large part of an organization’s internal teams, for example:
- Software training;
- Corporate education events;
- Teaching the use of innovation tools and agile methodologies in everyday life;
- Corporate Days are prepared to meet the specificities of departments or the company.
Our website provides several tools that encourage innovation and cooperative work. The Project Canvas, Springboards Vision, and Customer Journey are excellent tools for teamwork and are available for free.
Plastipak held a corporate journey with Venture Hub. In this blog post, you can see how our process helped in the company’s cultural transformation.
5- Measure Results
In an innovative culture, it is necessary to measure the results obtained, analyze the performance of the actions taken, and communicate the results openly with those involved so that everyone understands the impacts caused. It is even possible (and necessary) to measure the results of the cultural transformation process so that the positive returns obtained are straightforward.
Monitoring the results of actions taken needs to be a habit in companies. Understanding the tactics and activities that are effective and positive for the company and which ones need to be rethought or discarded is fundamental to the strategic planning of any business. The impact of the culture of innovation on the team will appear directly or indirectly and be mixed with other results.
Performance indicators and collaborative reports, such as OKRs, are great ways to measure and analyze results. These systems show practically and directly the performance of the actions carried out by the team, highlight how the organization is about its objectives, and show how far ahead or behind the team is about the quarter.
The OKR tool is an excellent recommendation for companies to define objectives and key results and monitor the performance of actions. It is an alignment and focus instrument that improves internal teams’ communication, management, and productivity.
Furthermore, internally democratizing access to the results achieved is an exciting way to encourage the teams involved and show them that their actions bring and generate positive impacts.
Implementing a culture of innovation will undoubtedly change the company’s routine and processes and may generate uncertainty. However, when well applied, it shows its efficiency, modernizing and increasing the quality of work at all organizational levels, expanding the protagonism of internal teams, and bringing better and more significant results.
The culture of innovation enables the creation of a safe and stimulating work environment for employees, a place where they feel confident and motivated to propose and test ideas responsibly and focus on strategic objectives.
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Venture Hub can help you be a protagonist in your company’s innovation process. We can support you through structured initiatives ranging from cultural transformation movements to more specific and in-depth open innovation actions. Get in touch with our team and see how we can help you.