How to develop a culture of Innovation

THE MOST successful organization among those who focus on problem solutions is one who raises the bar. Among several other factors, one of the most important factors is development of innovation culture. Comparing our academia with internationally recognized institutions, the clear difference is culture of innovation and commercialization of innovative ideas. They are more focused on creating a culture where innovation flourishes. In many interviews and meetings, there is very little discussion about brainstorming, generating ideas, prototyping, and the like – the kind of things most of us think about when we consider institutionalizing innovation. Instead, what many of us would call excellent practices for leadership. The one-sentence conclusion is: Excellence in leading innovation has far less to do with the leader having innovative ideas; it has everything to do with how that leader creates a culture where innovation and creativity thrives in every corner. There are two key areas that are often missing at the executive and management level. One is coaching and the other is training. In our academia and industrial culture, our senior management coaching focuses on the individual needs to the leader to ensure they have a confidential resource to test new concepts with, identify strategies to manage underperforming individuals and to help develop a clear vision of their own future. But at the same time, our senior management coaching will often start with a 360-degree process, assessment against leadership competencies and then a plan on how to close the gap between performance delivery and performance expectations. Our academia and industry is lacking from what generally called “Business Improvement Architects-BIA.” These BIAs can develop overall vision for innovation, since they are characterized as “innovative” focus on both theirs own and their students needs and opportunities. They focus on achieving and maintaining sustainable operations while constantly looking for ways to reinvent them to better serve their targets. It is necessary to sustain innovation within organizational culture. This will help organization in the development of its strategy for innovation. A shared vision will help the entire organization to innovate. It is imperative to consider Innovation as a sustainable, repeatable business process rather than a discrete project. We as a whole should understand that Innovation is a collaborative effort rather than the result of just an individual, creative endeavor. Our responsible quarters need to understand that, a culture where innovation thrives in every corner is exponentially more valuable than a culture which promotes one or even a few people as “the innovative ones.” If we succeed to create an environment of innovation, who knows where the next big idea will come from?

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