I just read an interesting article on innovation culture, written by IESE’s Paddy Miller and Azra Brankovic, and I have called attention to two words that I like especially when it comes to innovation: target and sustainable. Nevertheless, I’ve missed two more: results and metrics.
Maybe some of you are thinking… “Aren’t metrics and culture like oil and water? Can culture really join measurements?” Not only can but it is highly advisable. Beyond to creative practice and cultural role of the leaders mentioned by Miller and Brankovic, there’s no better way to convince people to adopt an innovative attitude that showing them outcomes that can feel as advisable for themselves. And when I say outcomes I’m talking about measured facts.
To an build Innovation Culture is better having good facts that satisfy several levels of the Maslow’s hierarchy (to mention a widely known concept), from helping to achieve their particular targets up to boosting the pride of being part of something bigger than themselves. A culture built on the intimate conviction that is good and desirable is a culture with strong roots, and it goes without saying that the chances to be consolidated are infinitely greater.
Fact: The authors of the ideas receive their first assessment within the 7 days the company had promised (quantified fact).
Effect: people think “Ok, it seems to take it seriously, they value my contribution. I have ideas and I really think that my contribution may be worth for the company, I’ll keep on the innovation way”.
Fact: We show to the operations manager and sales manager how the last innovative project has been able to reduce delivery times of our products by 30% (quantified results).
Effect: managers think “Wow, this is interesting, I think I will keep on contributing people from my department to the innovation projects”. And when have seen this kind of quantified facts a few more times, they will probably say “well, I don’t mind giving up some of my budget for innovation because it’s certainly worth”.
Well, maybe the way to expose it is slightly cartoony, but really there’s no better path to build a new “way of doing things” at the company, and thus a new Innovation Culture.
You can read here the mentioned article, published on IESE Insight: