OCTOBER – Question 9 – How do we make our Culture of Innovation sustainable?

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Expertise comes into play. To know how to calculate the journey our actions take. To control the impact of our movements. To bring together the right piece and the right place.

The complexity of our mission requires strategy. And foresight. And determination. The achievement to be accomplished deserves the effort. We have seen it done, but we do not know how. No matter. We know it is possible.

How do we make our Culture of Innovation sustainable?

The keys to making innovation sustainable over time in your organization, as is the case in organizations like 3M, GE, Google, and so many others of varying sizes in various sectors, are:

  • The creation of an innovation Sandbox where:
    • The rules of the game involve permanent questioning of the status quo, and the way we do things.
    • Maximum experimentation and continuous learning.
  • A leadership coach who demonstrates coherence between what is said and what is done.
  • Teams that are fully dedicated to stimulating the use of the innovation Sandbox throughout the organization.
  • The availability of virtual spaces where everyone can provide ideas, which can then be improved by others, and transformed into opportunities. Something similar to how Wikipedia works.
  • The definition of indicators for:
    • Failure and its lessons.
    • Fresh market, where we measure the contribution from innovation to the business.
    • Recognition for contributions. And not only for the successes! It all adds up!
    • ROI for innovation, which should help to improve our efficiency regarding investment made and results obtained.
  • To have a team of innovation Catalysts, including senior management and external consultants, in order to guarantee that the message containing what is important arrives (the presence of senior management) and to ensure that innovation concepts, methods and tools are being applied (the presence of external consultants).

As you see, it is not an easy task, as everything outlined here is necessary. The good news is that we should not incorporate everything at once, but should bring things in as needed, and in the format required by each organization.

Take it slowly. Enjoy the journey, because it really is worth it, we have no doubt, and if not just ask Rittal, Verti, Thales, Cimsa, NEM Solutions, and many others who understand what we are sharing here is all about.

Only by changing culture into innovation culture is it possible to make innovation sustainable. Go for it, because culture is very adaptable!


Please remember that every month you will find a new video from Thinking Heads Digital on our website. Thanks, THD, for sharing knowledge with all of us! This month: Fran Chuan – Innovar en una empresa: ¿Dónde y a qué velocidad?

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