Every company wants to have an innovative culture, but what does that actually look like in real life? To answer this question, we need to understand what company culture really means. Company culture is a real representation of what happens inside a business. Essentially, it’s who employees are when nobody’s looking. There are some companies that have created brilliant innovative cultures, and building an innovative culture is about sharing passion in the things you do collectively.

Here’s how to build that into your organization:

  1. Analyze the ins and outs of your current cultural system

The first step in building an innovative company culture is by analyzing the current one and finding ways to make it better. Identify the strong aspects of the company culture and then take a deeper look into what’s holding it back. What has shaped the company’s makeup? Is the current state of the culture a result of outdated values or new ones? Is it shaped by values or employees? By doing this, you can identify the areas that need improvement.

2. Be intentional with your innovation plans

If your plan is to be “the number 1 provider of XYZ”, you might be falling into the generic corporate vision trap. Every company wants to be the number 1 of this or that, but broad and generic goals don’t do much for creativity or innovation in the long-run. Decide how you want to change the world, and then make it completely customer-focused.

3. Create free time, don’t wait for it

The biggest complaint from business owners when it comes to innovation is that there simply isn’t enough time. That’s why it’s essential that you make time and give it to your employees. Find ways to give employees time to work on creative tasks, and encourage them to take it. By doing this, you create a performance-based culture.

4. Give rewards—informally and often

The most powerful form of recognition in business is usually the more informal kind—and it’s something you have to practice every day until it becomes natural throughout the entire company. It’s no secret that people tend to repeat behavior that they get recognition for, so aim to create incentives to acknowledge achievements on a regular basis. By doing this, you create a performance-based culture.

5. Do not micromanage

As a leader chasing innovation, you should provide the support, structure, and encouragement to help colleagues dive in on their own, without micro-managing or breathing down anyone’s neck.

6. Make sure leadership teams are fully on board

Change needs to start from the top. A full 360-degree turn to create an innovative culture is a huge job and it needs full commitment from those in senior roles. It’s crucial that leadership teams set an example and really become role models for the rest of the company, demonstrating what’s expected from everyone.

7. Refresh your hiring process

Innovation is about having the right people, so if there’s any chance you’re deterring quality applicants with an outdated hiring process, it’s time to make that right. Hire smart people, then empower them to teach you.

8. Introduce ideas software to colleagues

We can’t talk about innovation without talking about software. Idea management software can be used to facilitate brainstorming sessions, promote collaboration and ensure that all voices are heard. At Submit.com, we specialize in creating software that helps businesses to build a culture of innovation. Our platform is designed to help you manage and streamline your innovation processes, from idea capture to implementation. If you’re serious about building an innovative culture, contact us to learn more.

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