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Innovation culture: this is how companies establish it

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In order to assert themselves in the market, companies depend on innovations. In turn, they can only thrive in an appropriate environment. It takes one Culture of innovation in companies that encourage creativity. Some companies are already reaching their limits here. Employees stuck in their routine, error management that doesn't deserve the name and, on top of that, no idea what values ​​one even wants to stand for. We will show you what is meant by innovation culture and what prerequisites companies have to create in order to promote successful innovations.

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Definition: what is innovation culture?

The innovation culture is a Part of the organizational culture (also called corporate culture). There are many different terms floating around the net, which are used synonymously and sometimes differ marginally in terms of content:

  • Organizational creativity
  • Entrepreneurial creativity
  • Corporate Creativity
  • Creative climate
  • Innovation climate
  • Culture that promotes innovation

First of all, innovation culture, similar to corporate culture, is just a term that describes the area of ​​ideas and creativity and does not say anything about whether this environment is good or bad is. A company's culture of innovation can be perceived as extremely inspiring, but just as easily as a hindrance.

The purpose of an actively pursued culture of innovation is to promote new ideas in the company. The wheel does not necessarily have to be reinvented for this. Identify problems and recognizing potential for improvement in products, processes or methods also contributes to the success of a company.

How an innovation culture is developed has a decisive influence on whether employees really do be innovative want, have the skills and, above all, get the green light. This makes it necessary to create a certain social environment.

Examples of a high culture of innovation Companies such as Google, Apple, Hewlett Packard or 3M are mentioned regularly.

How do you recognize a culture of innovation?

An innovation culture - especially a good one - can be recognized by the extent to which certain characteristics are pronounced. The company management is responsible for this. It not only selects the employees, but creates the frameworkin which innovative thinking is encouraged.

The following characteristics are of importance:

  • Corporate culture

    Without an appropriate basis, there can be no innovation culture; it is embedded in the general corporate culture. In other words, there is a climate that encourages creativity and invites you to try things out. Particularly important: The norms and values ​​that the company embodies externally are also lived internally, managers are real role models. This gives goals and projects a high level of credibility and motivates employees.

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  • Error culture

    A constructive error culture is closely linked to the first point. How should employees dare to try something new if no mistakes are allowed? If only enormous pressure to perform is built up, but every failure is punished, every employee only moves within narrow but safe limits. At the same time, a climate of mistrust emerges in which every mistake is covered up. If, on the other hand, managers are open about their failures and take responsibility, employees also dare to admit their mistakes. In all cases it is important to have a critical self-reflection that allows mistakes, but at the same time ensures that we learn from them.

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  • advancement

    A culture of innovation is also characterized by the fact that it creates space for new things and lays the foundations for it. This succeeds if a company supports its employees, for example through further training. Interests and strengths can thus be further expanded and flow into new ideas. Not only the transfer of knowledge should be promoted, but also the motivation of the employees. There should be space for various incentives within this framework. Further training, as well as public recognition and rewards, are opportunities to honor the achievements of particularly deserving employees or teams.

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  • Communication culture

    The way in which (and whether) important decisions and processes are announced in the company makes a decisive contribution to creating a transparent climate in which employees feel comfortable. If important information is withheld, gossip is promoted and trust is made more difficult. That's just one side. The other side is that for a lively innovation culture, the projects must be clearly recognizable. What is expected of the individual employee? This is the only way to check whether the goals are the same for everyone.

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  • Action culture

    It is not only decisive for the innovation culture of companies that they have motivated employees. They must also have the opportunity to implement their ideas. You need space and time for creativity or even entrepreneurial leeway. Some companies are therefore already working with intrapreneurs. Managers who, under normal conditions, would be bound by guidelines to comply with certain official channels are given a free hand in making decisions. Of course, this requires a certain amount of willingness to take risks on both sides. On the other hand, new ideas are always risky at the beginning - the practical test ultimately decides whether they will develop into an innovative product.

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What significance do innovations have for companies?

What is not done - trend analyzes are made, modern management methods are tried out and all hopes (or fears) are placed in digitization. Too important is simply that a company innovative and flexible remains in order to survive in the market.

Be it that a company for its part through developments creates a demand, or can react quickly to changing customer requirements. Competition is not only threatened by increasing competitiveness and higher domestic growth: countries like India and China have been in the fast lane for years - nowhere are there more patent applications than in China.

Companies always have it with them a dilemma to fight. On the one hand, creativity on the part of employees is desirable; only the same activities are viewed as less fulfilling. At the same time, there is often a skepticism about new areas of responsibility or methods.

The same applies to customers: only the same thing is always perceived as monotonous and conservative, but too many changes or even surprises are not accepted. The old is also the familiar.

Managing this balancing act is the task of innovation management. The question is how Innovative ability increased which requirements an employee must meet and also bring with them in order to establish a desired culture of innovation.

Factors for a more innovation culture

The culture of innovation stands and falls with the employees. A company can't make it to certain characters to bind to yourself, it will be difficult to persist in the long run. The following factors should be considered:

  • Diversity

    When it comes to team building, companies must ensure that the team does not become too homogeneous. Some recruiters tend to hire applicants with very similar résumés. This means that there are fewer conflicts, but hardly any new ideas arise. Different personalities fertilize each other. What is needed are lateral thinkers, mediators, analysts, pragmatists ...

  • Ambiguity tolerance

    Employees must have a wealth of social skills. One of the most urgently needed is a high level of tolerance for ambiguity. The implementation of creative ideas, the development of prototypes and test phases go hand in hand with different expectations and hopes. A company can just as easily decide not to pursue certain developments any further or a customer can drop out. Dealing with such situations has to be learned.

  • ID

    It is well known that companies whose employees identify with the company's mission are exceptionally successful. Employers should be aware that they score points with applicants with a clearly defined and lived corporate culture: Particularly high potentials of the younger generation of employees, personal conformity with the values ​​and culture of the company is particularly important.

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May 22, 2020Author: Anja Rassek

Anja Rassek studied among other things German at the WWU in Münster. She worked for community radio and a publisher. Here she devotes herself to topics related to the office, everyday work and studies.

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