Building a culture of innovation is something that requires a concerted effort by leadership to engage the entire company in the innovation process. Futurist Thomas Koulopoulos shared the four steps to be followed.
Get Culturally Creative
Think in terms of what’s valuable in your culture. In my second company I had a policy that no office, even my own, would have a door. Why? I wanted to signal that in our culture everyone had the license and the responsibility to work in interrupt mode. The result was that ideas flowed freely, constantly, and unfettered.
Set The Tone
You are a role model for innovation but you cannot be its only source. Advertise the success of others and their ideas. Talk about how the seeds of innovation are taking root throughout the company. Be sure to applaud, recognize, and reward innovators, no matter how small their innovations. Most importantly, let them fail; innovation is a numbers game.
Establish A Budget And A Process For Nurturing New Ideas.
This isn’t R& D. Instead it’s for any idea that is worth exploring. It’s a hedge bet against outside innovation. Every now and then one idea will fly out of the park. It only takes a few of those to illustrate how innovation is part of your culture.
Share The Story
Make sure the innovation story is a story about your organization, not a story about YOU and the ONE great idea that launched your business. Instead, make it a story about the culture of innovation and the many people who have sustained it; giving others role models and the license to have something to strive for.
Thomas Koulopoulos is President and founder of Delphi Group, a Boston-based Think Tank and advisory firm. Delphi was Founded in 1989 and has served nearly 20,000 clients across all industries, federal and state government agencies around the world.
Since launching Delphi Group in 1989, Mr. Koulopoulos propelled Delphi to its position as an Inc. 500 company (one of the 500 fastest growing private companies in the USA) with global offices, a trusted brand, and a leading independent advisor on business and technology trends to large enterprise and government.
Named one of the industry’s “Killer Consultants” and most influential management consultant by InformationWeek Magazine he has delivered consulting services as a senior level advisor to hundreds of global organizations.
His Eight books include, Cloud Surfing, The Innovation Zone, Smartsourcing, Corporate Instinct, Smart Companies, Smart Tools, and The X-economy. During the past two decades Mr. Koulopoulos’ works have introduced core industry concepts, frameworks and vernacular such as Innovation Zones, Smartsourcing, Single Point of Access, Touch Points, Digital Control Rooms, Business Operating Systems and Corporate IQ, that are widely used today in describing the impact of technology on business.