Building a Culture of Innovation in Your Business

By October 13, 2022 March 20th, 2023 Business Strategy Articles

Last Updated on March 20, 2023 by Dave Schoenbeck

Creating a culture of innovation and building a culture of innovation in your business cannot happen overnight.  Sometimes it’s there from the beginning—like Google, Tesla, or Apple.  Other times its part of incremental reinvention like Johnson and Johnson.

Read on if you have the wherewithal to realize your team needs a boost, a shift, and inspiration.

A camera looks up at a circle of happy employees

Creating a Culture of Innovation and Creativity

Many business owners and leaders understand the importance of teamwork, loyalty, and strong culture, but not enough companies value innovative culture.  As a result, fewer managers know how to encourage creativity and innovative thinking among their teams.

According to a study by Robert Half, 35 percent of chief financial officers said their primary roadblock to organizational breakthroughs was a lack of innovative ideas.

Innovation keeps your business relevant, puts you ahead of the competition, and helps a business survive in dynamic cultures.  Unfortunately, many companies don’t think to create a culture of innovation, starting with leadership.

How Can a Manager Create an Innovative Culture?

Creating a culture of innovation grows within each team.  However, if your employees aren’t used to using creative thinking, building a culture of innovation might take some time. 

Start with an honest talk with your team about what new behaviors you’d like to see from them and reiterate it’s a company-wide endeavor.  When it’s company-wide, the value of your company goes up.

If there are gaps in critical or creative thinking processes, be open to hiring outside talent and consultants.  Of course, not everyone has to know everything, nor should they be expected to.  However, sometimes outside ideas can help stir up stagnant teams.

Why Ideas Never See the Light of Day

Many of your associates have good ideas but never speak out about them for fear of being ridiculed or sounding silly. 

  • Emphasize the fact that you value brainstorming and that no idea is too out there to mention, 
  • Hold workshops on the subject of creativity and innovation
  • Send your employees to seminars so they can learn more

The goal is to make your team feel more comfortable coming up with new ideas and trying them out.  Employees want to be more creative but are not accustomed to being asked for this type of input.

Your team might need some learning and unlearning to find the right balance.

Set Up Your Team For Success

You might also need to look at the structure of your business to see if any obstacles are blocking you from creating and building a culture of innovation

Employees might feel like it wastes time if an idea must pass through several directors or committees before it’s implemented.  Instead, try a new approach and see it fail.  As they say, “Fail fast.” Part of the success of a plan starts with the planning.

When in doubt, be the example you want to see.  Your associates are much more likely to make an attempt and risk failure if they see you’re not afraid to be just as vulnerable.

Lastly, garner buy-in from integral team members—not just those at the top of the hierarchy.  For example, some employees are great at rallying the team to work towards the same goal—get these people to become the champions of this movement.

Click here for a complimentary video coaching session.  I can help you build a culture of innovation in your business.

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