Creating a culture of innovation is no easy task. Truthfully, creating a culture of anything isn’t an easy task! But some things are more critical than others for what they mean to your culture. As we’ve unpacked before… innovation is far more a process than a skillset. This is important, especially if your goal is to create a culture of innovation because you can scale a process (but it’s difficult to scale skillset with limited human resources).
Before we talk specifically about innovation culture, it’s probably best to start with understanding and having some agreed upon idea about organizational culture in general. Let’s give this some definition or at least some talking points.
Co-Owned - people in your organization feel ownership and it’s not centralized with a person or a team
Repetative - the action or manifestation of that cultural idea is being repeating and lived out in various forms in your organization
Catalyst - there are core catalytic events and moments for bringing/driving this culture to life
Stewardship - there are dedicated people to “own” this cultural mandate and help see if become part of the overall organization
So then we dive into innovation culture and what makes that unique. Innovation culture is when an organization embraces a standard process approach to help solve organzational problems. It’s what happens when there’s a discipline to allow an objective process to help flush out better ways to solve a problem (than one person carrying that weight on themself). Let’s give this some more talking points as well.
Branding - give your process, space, and team a name - something that makes this unique to your organization
Dedicated Space - creation of a dedicated space to lead and facilitate innovation sessions
Defined Process - refining the innovation (or design thinking) processes to clarify your organization’s version and vernacular
Campaigns - starting with strong campaigns to get others on board, initiating early innovation sessions, and educating people
Facilitators - building a team of trained facilitators from across the organization
Lastly, it’s important to give people the opportunity to engage and leading them to how to make that step of engagement. While there are many ways to engage, here are three recommendations.
Participate - give people the opportunity to sign up and be a team member of an upcoming innovation
Submit - give team leaders the ability to submit innovation concepts for their team to have an innovation facilitated
Facilitate - request to be trained as a facilitator to learn the skillset and be on your roster of facilitators
In short, creating a culture of innovation is a discipline of activity and steadiness over time to see your process well leveraged for the betterment of organization. Add to our list here and get started creating your own culture of innovation!
Cause Machine Solutions
Here at Cause Machine, we help organizations solve complex community engagement problems/questions. We use these disciplines of innovation ourselves in our own development process and have helped lead many organizations throught their own process of innovation discovery. Leveraging the Cause Machine platform for engaging your community helps you be confident that the foundations of this platform are built on time-tested best practices of great processes like innovation and design thinking. Schedule a demo today!