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Innovation Strategy: The Importance of a Culture of Innovation

An innovation strategy creates a roadmap for how inventive products and processes will lead to long-term success for your business. To fully realize the potential benefits of your innovation strategy, creativity must be woven throughout your organization’s culture. In fact, 94% of senior executives agree that “people and corporate culture are the most important drivers of innovation.” 

A true culture of innovation encourages members from every department and seniority level to contribute ideas. This equitable strategy allows people previously ignored during conversations about innovation to formulate and act on creative ideas with the potential to benefit the organization as a whole. 

The Importance of a Culture of Innovation

A culture of innovation helps companies move through the innovation cycle. When multiple people, teams, and departments are working toward creative solutions, it’s easier to consistently ideate and move ideas with potential to the next step of the innovation process. Rather than focusing all of your organization’s resources on a single project in development, an innovative workplace allows a constant flow of ideas that can be brought to market strategically. 

Encouraging innovation throughout your business also gives you a competitive advantage. When you innovate as part of a strategic framework, you can guide research and development toward white space in the competitive landscape. Meeting your customers’ needs with forward-thinking solutions gives them reasons to choose your company again and again, as well as share their positive experiences with like-minded potential customers. 

Creating a Culture of Innovation

Implementing a culture of innovation starts with leadership that prioritizes clear communication and collaboration over a centralized team structure. If employees are expected to contribute to an innovative workplace, they must also be supported by continued education and training in their area of expertise. 

A company committed to creativity knows that it must focus on long-term ROI. Rather than accepting—and expecting—incremental gains, leadership and other stakeholders must acknowledge that true innovation does not always return value right away. However, when teams are allowed to fail in the short term, long-term gains have the potential to outpace the short term benefits of incremental improvements.

Creativity takes resources; employees must be provided the time and tools to innovate. Compensation for marketable ideas is one tactic to consider when encouraging innovation. To determine which ideas have potential, consider an automated decision-making tool. Scoring ideas based on novelty can help businesses allocate resources and prioritize the tactics delivering the most innovation.