To be truly innovative an organisation needs to have a culture that encourages innovation.
There are many theories over how this may be achieved and we outline some of the most interesting ideas.
- Organisational structures – aligning to markets is effective provided the strategic business units are given sufficient authority. At a project level autonomous teams can be the best way of progressing radical innovations. Some companies have adopted an ‘innovation manager’ to help drive through change.
- Power structures – a strong relationship between manufacturing and R&D can nurture continuous improvement and break down the walls that seem to develop organically. The risk of poor cross-functional awareness is an ‘over the wall’ mentality where problems are thrown to the ‘other side’ to deal with instead of cooperatively through discussion.
- Symbols – recognising innovation and its contribution to the company through displays in the entrance hall, featuring in advertising, positive internal communication – can all promote pride and confidence.
- Stories – managers that use stories can communicate effectively and enlightening stories are inspirational.
- Routines and rituals – two elements of best practice is promoting new ideas and tolerating mistakes. eg DuPont’s use of the phrase ‘it was a good try’.
- Control systems – while new ideas should be encouraged they need to be managed and there are techniques available to manage this.
Articles Relating to People & Organisations
How could open innovation (OI) collaborative practices provide a way to tackle the world’s most pressing societal challenges – eradication of disease? Reduction of carbon emissions? Creation of more sustainable products and services? A special issue of R&D Management...Read more
Smart glasses could help you be more productive, according to research by a team at IfM investigating how augmented reality affects human work in an industrial setting.Read more
For every new product development important lessons are learnt but unless these are captured and shared future teams will waste time and effort solving similar problems, argues Keith Goffin. Good post-project reviews (PPRs) can be invaluable in making future...Read more