Innovation continues to be a hot topic. The Boston Consulting Group’s 10th annual global survey of the state of innovation shows that 79 percent of respondents ranked it as the company’s top-most priority or a top-three priority—the highest percent since the survey began in 2005. Whether in business, non-profit, sports, or entertainment, most organizations are continuously asking the question, “How can we become more innovative?” Leaders have quickly recognized that their organization’s competitive position largely depends on its capacity for innovation.
Collaboration is the buzz word of the 21st century and for good reason. Today employees work on all kinds of teams and cross functional groups to help firms remain agile and productive in response to market change and global business complexity. This basic fact of work-life places the necessity to build a culture of collaboration at the forefront of work.
If an organization wishes to inspire and sustain innovation, a culture of innovation is required. And while there are many variations and hybrids within innovation cultures, the basic components remain constant. Of course, this does not mean that innovation can’t survive in a non-innovation culture; it just faces much longer survival odds and its success will likely be despite the organization’s culture and not because of it.
When you build a culture of innovation, who benefits? From my work with organisations I’d be fairly willing to bet that your top answers would include customers, employees and the organisation itself.
And it’s fairly obvious why. Customers of innovative organisations receive the benefit of agile solutions which are created in answer to real needs and delivered by exceptional levels of service. Employees working within innovative organisations benefit from working in a collaborative environment which praises and nurtures traits such as empowerment initiative and inclusivity. And innovative organisations benefit from offering differentiated market leading solutions; thereby attracting a loyal customer base, a strong reputation, and increased levels of profitability.