What Does An Innovative Organisation Look Like?
Many organisations are expressing a desire to create a culture of innovation. For some, the change can be a dramatic shift in how things work day-day. But more fundamental is the challenge of knowing what an innovative organisation even looks like.
Each organisation should create their own contextual list. So, when they set out on a quest to build an innovative culture they have a vision of where they're heading. This is my own list of what an innovative culture looks like. Start from it, take it, share it or discuss it.
People take time to think.
There isn't a need for everyone to be talking and doing. Space and silence are respected so people can actually think. (Besides, what is the opposite of giving people time to think?)
Old ways aren't safe. They're old.
People challenge the old ways of doing things. They don't revel in how things have always be done. They welcome new people, new ideas and fresh perspectives. In fact, they know if they keep doing things as they always have, there’s no reason to feel safe at all.
People don't fail. They learn.
They know they can't predict so they spend less time planning and more time doing. They either shape their idea to eventual success, or chalk it up to a lesson learned and move on.
Ideas are challenged, refined, tore down and built up. As a team. One person with a great idea may plant a seed, but sharing allows it to grow.
Innovation and structure cohabitate.
Innovation doesn't mean chaos. Innovative organisations have structure. But each individual has an autonomous space in which to make a contribution - and to challenge and improve the structure.
People use machines. They're not expected to be machines.
Tools and technology are leveraged by thinking people. Thinking people aren't meant to be constrained by, or at the mercy to, tools and technology.
Dreams are big.
There's a belief that the impossible is possible. That things can change. New and better paths can be found. That people have the ability to do great things regardless of role, experience or position.
Promises are small.
Those big dreams are realised one visible step at a time.
Things get done.
No coincidence that when people are engaged in what they're doing, they get things done.