Culture and Innovation: How Does Culture Impact Innovation? #UsGuysChat Framing Post

Culture and Innovation: How Does Culture Impact Innovation? #UsGuysChat Framing Post

Two things I’m passionate about: Culture and Innovation! I was thrilled when Joseph Ruiz, strategic marketer and co-host of #usguyschat, asked me if I would like to help with #usguyschat on these two elements.

Join us Monday, May 20 at 3 pm EDT on #usguyschat on twitter to participate in this discussion about culture and innovation – Everyone is welcome!

Here are some brief thoughts on the topic of Culture and Innovation, along with the questions we’ll be asking during our chat at 3pm EDT on Monday, May 20.

I think we need to start with defining both Culture and Innovation. In last week’s #usguyschat, we got started with defining culture. Here is what I took away from the discussion (from my Storify on the chat): Culture is defined by actions throughout the organization. How / who you recruit, your training, rewards, recognition, who you promote, your daily decisions and interactions. It is important that culture is truly believed by leaders, genuine, and that people are passionate and excited about it.

When I work with organizations to build strong culture, we look at what employees, customers and other partners say about what it is like to work at / work with the organization. Regardless of whether you have a poster on the wall defining your culture, in fact, culture is built by actions not intentions, and it will develop whether you are strategic about it or not. And if you’re not, your culture may be something that is hindering rather than helping your success.

Here’s how Merriam-Webster dictionary defines culture in the organizational sense:

the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization

Now what is innovation? I think that might be a great first question for this chat. So let’s do that:

Q1: What is innovation?

I know what I think, and what I learned recently taking a fabulous Coursera course on Strategic Innovation in Organizations, but I’ll save my thoughts for the chat.

I will say that I believe that culture is critical to innovation. I think there are some key competencies, values and behaviours that help organizations to innovate more quickly, to be agile in changing times, and to get products to market faster than competition. I don’t want to share them all here, because I’m looking forward to a fluid and interactive discussion on Monday. But let’s make that question 2.

Q2: What culture elements  (eg values, behaviours, beliefs) help to drive innovation in orgs?

Now it’s great to know what… but let’s also talk about HOW. How do you entrench the elements that are important to innovation into your culture? My post about building a culture of innovation gives 12 different touchpoints as examples. How else can leaders and employees create and sustain those cultural elements? That will be Q3!

Q3: HOW can you create and entrench those cultural elements to drive innovation?

Ok, so we should have a nice list of what is needed and how we can build those factors into our Culture by this point… now who is doing this well. We often hear about innovation at Apple or Zappos… but I would love to hear about other organizations that are maybe a little less well-known. So our next question:

Q4: What organizations have strong, innovative cultures and how is that displayed internally and externally?

And finally, let’s try to create some action from this chat. I love twitter chats because of the ideas and passion shared. But let’s go further this time. Our final question will be one for you to act on:

Q5: What will you do starting NOW to build a stronger culture of innovation within your work / team / organization?

See you Monday, May 20 at 3pm EDT on Twitter. Just follow and use #usguyschat to join in the conversation. New to twitter chats? I recommend signing into tweetchat.com to participate – it will add the hashtag automatically and you will see the full stream of tweets related to the chat.

A few posts you might enjoy reading before our chat:

http://www.pamross.ca/building-a-culture-of-innovation-12-innovative-touch-points/

http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2013/05/six_components_of_culture.html

http://www.pamross.ca/12-key-steps-to-shaping-organizational-culture/

http://www.pamross.ca/building-positive-company-culture/

http://stephenabbott.com/2011/12/16/true-values-are-a-choice/

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