Today, having extensive experience in the sector or market niche in which we are located is no longer enough. It is true that having business experience can help solve many problems, but a lack of innovation can lead to many others.
Innovation is imperative in order to avoid being eaten by your competitors. It is very common, especially in entrepreneurs with traditional roots in the industrial era and with a defensive mentality, to have difficulty establishing a strong culture of innovation. This is where it becomes clear that either the company will innovate or it will not be able to compete in the market.
Faced with this situation, entrepreneurs tend to mobilize instinctive initiatives such as resorting to open innovation and intrapreneurship programs.
To develop a new culture of corporate innovation in your company, the first thing to do is to raise the mirror and recognize who you are as a company. To make this task easier, analyze the profile of your employees, all of whom came to you for a reason. It’s vital to understand that employees choose to develop their careers in large corporations for specific reasons.
The main reason for corporate career development is professional success, and therefore in a company it will be measured by profit and rank. With this in mind you can already see one key to your company’s ideal culture, and a reference point from which to continue innovating.
It must be taken into account that cultural change is not an easy task, it requires constant training in addition to a series of basic but often overlooked qualities such as trust, good leadership, and above all patience and time. It is vital, in order to make cultural change, to know who you are as a company and set clear objectives about what you want to change. After that, discovering the initiatives that suit your corporate personality will come more naturally.
THE FIRST FIVE STEPS
These factors represent visible, tangible and practical actions that create a very solid foundation and are vital, because once we have achieved them we are ready to move on to our specific corporate initiatives.
- The first person who should promote innovation is the CEO. It is critical to make sure that he/she is the person who promotes the innovation agenda to his/her employees. Change must be made publicly so that not only the management team, but the whole company, is part of the change. The CEO must also understand and establish that failures are renamed as learning experiences to begin to establish a culture of permission.
- The second point is to make a roadmap for the whole team to understand the objectives and key areas of the company’s internal strategy. This will help and motivate employees to take ownership of their strategy, as well as recognizing the return of establishing a culture of innovation.
- Decide where to spend the company’s money and time regarding closed innovation and open innovation. Remember that closed innovation represents internal R&D and entrepreneurship. On the other hand, open innovation represents alliances, mergers, acquisitions and corporate venture capital. Once you have decided which of the two you want to focus on, allocate resources and funds accordingly.
- Establish roadmap-specific innovation metrics. Create ways to quantify the company’s goals that are more motivating and rewarding for your employees. For example, instead of measuring the number of new products or services delivered to the market, measure the percentage increase in revenue from new products and services compared to existing ones.
- Adopt a progressive “crawl, walk, run” approach. Most companies don’t lack ideas but they do lack resources. A shortage of resources often leads to losing sight of the goal, and it is at that moment that responsibility and ownership for the innovation project are lost. Therefore, it is essential to limit the number of initiatives in focus at any one time and add new initiatives as you achieve the previous ones.
This way the company will always keep a short term goal and it will feel much more rewarding since you will continuously see yourself meeting them.
ANOTHER POINT OF VIEW
Undertaking this type of change is a complicated task, and many companies that want to develop a culture of corporate innovation help themselves by drawing ideas from outside perspectives. Since it is very difficult to be objective, discover mistakes and make changes in something you live with every day, we recommend that you seek help from external corporations to drive changes in your company culture. This will provide you with an objective, external view of what your business really needs, as well as implementing endless innovative ideas that will undoubtedly make you grow.