Four Steps to Create a Culture of Innovation

Américo Mateus, University of Europe Laureate Digital

Our approach to innovation is all about people! They are the enablers of a self-sustainable innovation culture within organizations. For me, there is no innovation system, methodology or process that can be implemented successfully within any organization without it being thought about, designed, developed and centered on the human factor. Follow these four steps to create a truly innovative culture within your organization:

In any organization, innovation is fueled by creativity. Creativity is a human based skill. That’s why this is the first step needed to allow the seeds of creativity to flourish within the organization. Today, all workers are creative workers. They must start by believing in themselves and in their creative skills and competences—they must possess inner confidence.

Innovation also requires managerial commitment and organizational design. That’s why the second step, after a thorough diagnostic of the organization, is to assist the management team by building a culture within the organization. This should enable and empower the drive for innovation and encourage the entire team to participate in the design and implementation of new processes and innovation systems.

Innovation can be enabled by leveraging learning processes and through the setup of a clear strategic path. That’s why the third step is to define strategic objectives that make the innovation effort sustainable. We are conscious that today’s conceptual workers ask for motivating ways of developing themselves. Therefore, we can give them insights into their learning competences and adapt individual and collective ways of learning into their learning profile. Subsequently, different forms of individual and collective learning are stimulated and the innovation potential of the organization is leveraged. As a result, the organization can grow in a healthy and mature manner, framed by ethical and social values, with purpose and meaning for the economic development of the community, thus creating value for local communities.

A continuous flow of innovation within any organization is all about culture and change. The fourth step aims at maintaining the efforts of innovation within each organization, embedded in a systemic, holistic and continuous process. Today’s world requires that organizations possess the quality of being continuously adaptable to change. We believe that the best solution is to track the organization’s DNA, which in itself is the most suitable model or process to involve internal employees and external stakeholders within these dynamics.

With these four steps, organizations can reimagine themselves and develop their own innovation culture. But the basic structure should always be based on the people involved, from employees to external stakeholders.

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