Three Ways Organizational Culture Influences Innovation
Knowing that organizational culture is intimately linked to successful innovation, what can you do to improve your company’s performance?
First, ensure that your teams are well trained and function across and between silos. NPD is dependent on getting the technology right and delivered to the market at the ideal time. This effort requires input from a diverse group of people, slicing across organizational boundaries.
Next, allow the cross-functional team to work independently. Empower the team to make their own decisions – creativity is enhanced and productivity is improved when teams are granted a high degree of autonomy.
Remember that leadership for these cross-functional teams has to recognize and appreciate the collective intelligence and creativity of the group. Bright and creative individuals cannot be managed in a traditional sense and should be given leeway to generate solutions to customers’ problems. Leaders can help empower the cross-functional team members by removing bureaucracy and offering a supportive culture – what we call relational leadership.
Finally, creativity can be learned. Encourage individual creativity with “time to think” policies. You can jumpstart the group creativity of team members with close knowledge of the problem and those that have solved similar problems in the past.
Organizational culture is like an elixir being pumped into the air. A trusting, open culture will encourage innovation success. Why not take a step today toward a more open organization culture by focusing on cross-functional teams, relational leadership, and creativity?