Innovation culture

Engine of innovation

Why is innovation culture so important? Many companies are aware that innovation and digitalization are decisive factors in business development. Companies invest significant amounts in product development and the development of service innovations. Innovation labs are established to address the challenges of digital disruption with innovative digital business models. However, despite these efforts, innovation strategies are being pursued only at a slow pace. The culture of innovation allows organizational innovation only to a very limited extent. The innovation process is not progressing. What is the reason for this? Because the company’s innovation culture is not sufficiently developed.

In our study “Think Further Ahead in Innovation Management” you will learn about the most important factors of an innovative corporate culture. On the basis of the latest scientific findings, you will discover the importance innovation culture plays in innovation management and the implementation of disruptive innovations. And then you will uncover ways in which you can systematically build and develop them.

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Innovation Capacity innovation culture

Innovation Culture Definition

What drives innovation forward and anchors it sustainably in a company is the culture of innovation. But what is an innovation culture?

In scientific literature, the terms organizational creativity, entrepreneurial creativity, corporate creativity, creative climate, climate of innovation, culture promoting innovation and innovation culture are used. It is not always possible to clearly delimit these terms. In his scientific book “The Innovation Capability of Companies“, Innolytics® Managing Director Dr. Jens-Uwe Meyer defines the term, on the basis of 200 international studies, as the following:

The ability of a company to exploit the individual creativity of its employees by creating social environments to develop ideas and implement innovations of different degrees of innovation.

In the study “Think Forward on Innovation Management” you will learn how to develop a culture within your company, your department, or your team which promotes the development of ideas and the generation of ideas, as well as their implementation in the innovation process.

Anchoring an innovation culture in the company

Innovation culture helps to promote processes and anchor innovation as part of the corporate philosophy. Sustainable change, effective measures in innovation management, and creative team processes are the three main objectives in introducing an innovation culture.

In his article for Capital, Innolytics® founder and managing director Dr. Jens-Uwe Meyer puts forward the provocative thesis: “Hire Creative Accountants!” His argument: “Innovative optimizers are constantly looking for improvement potential in their products, strategies, and processes. An accountant who critically scrutinises processes, identifies problems where others don’t see them, and makes suggestions for solutions is more valuable to these companies than someone who only looks at the rules.”

An important point in the sustainable development of an innovation culture is the networking of employees to the outside world. This works, for example, by establishing open innovation processes within the company. Innovation software supports companies in setting up and establishing such innovation networks.

Different forms of innovation culture

An innovation culture creates the right conditions for successful innovation and digitization projects. An environment in which

  • new ideas emerge and are rapidly developed into prototypes,
  • new things are tried out and entrepreneurial risks taken,
  • To continuously learn from the successes and failures of our employees.

A culture of innovation is influenced by various factors: strategy, value system, management structure and internal processes, team composition and internal communication. Risk culture, resources and the way managers manage are also important.

There are different forms of innovation culture. Each of these characteristics promotes different forms of innovation. In our scientific research, we have identified four different forms of innovation culture.

Innovation Culture

Factors of the innovation culture in the company

Innolytics® Innovation Cloud to analyse the innovation culture

The innovation culture of a company is measurable. The tool for evaluation and control is the Innolytics® Innovation Cloud and was developed by Innolytics® GmbH in cooperation with the HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management.

Based on scientifically-based evaluations of the most innovative international companies, as well as the analysis of numerous studies, the results provide information about the innovative strength of a company.

Holistic view of the innovation culture

The aim of the analysis is to gain a holistic overview, to derive proposals for action, and to establish a long-term culture of innovation. Employees are asked how they perceive the innovation-friendliness of their company. The building blocks of the innovation culture are measured and compared. Obstacles to innovation and fields of action can be identified and subsequent recommendations made.

Innovation culture as a driver of innovation management – the study

Our free article gives you a sound insight into the building blocks of an innovation culture. You will learn how to create the right framework conditions for innovation within your company, your department, and your team. You will get to know the scientific results from six years of research in a succinct and practical way. You will also hear from guest speakers, including Nestlé, Vodafone Germany and Thomas Cook AG, about how such major international corporations have built their own company’s innovation culture.

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Innovation Capacity innovation culture

Different innovation cultures within a company

In order to be fit for the markets of the future, companies need several innovation cultures at the same time.

  • In order to guarantee the stability of existing processes, they need an operational corporate culture in certain areas, in which the existing is not touched but only selectively optimized.
  • For the further development of existing products or process improvement, they need an innovation culture of constant optimization.
  • In order to develop new business fields and new structures, they need a strategically oriented innovation culture.
  • To implement more radical innovations, they need a proactive innovation culture. These business units act like speedboats: they try out new ideas and test the limits of the existing.

The chart shows that certain innovation projects can only be implemented within the corresponding culture.

Establishing an innovation culture through an innovation-friendly climate

Managers ensure an innovation-friendly corporate culture. Management plays a central role in introducing and anchoring the culture of innovation. The task of the managers is to create suitable framework conditions for the development of ideas within the team.

It is important to recognise and promote the potential of employees. The following questions can help with analysis and implementation:

  • What prevents new ideas?

  • How can creative obstacles be removed?

  • How do we devise a creative environment?

  • How do we promote innovative approaches?

  • Where can the company set up creative freedom?

Managers as employee coaches

Through targeted coaching of employees, they can learn structured work and creativity techniques. Motivation plays a central role in this: The success of the measures is ultimately dependent on the employees’ understanding of the importance of the innovation culture.