Organizational culture refers to the values, beliefs, experiences, and attitudes that serve as guidelines within an organization. It is the basis of behavior patterns and perceptions displayed and expected from stakeholders. Such values are build overtime and often trickle from leadership to the members through a process known as learning reinforcement. Innovation is the act of exploring, embracing, trying and implementing new ideas developed by either others or self in an organization with an aim of exploring their workability. Owing to the fact that organizational culture directs and dictates what an organization is to engage in, it is tantamount that such premises can either promote or deter new ideas. It is on this understanding that this paper evaluates organizational cultures that promote the development and implementation of new ideas.
Corporate Culture: - Research shows that corporate culture is a strong driver of innovation. This is based on the fact that corporate culture entails sharing of organizational culture; values, attitudes, and practices by stakeholders. According to ChangeBoard, an atmosphere of corporate culture breeds members with forward-looking and risk taking attitude. This makes it possible for new ideas to be shared, explored, tried, and implemented in an organization.
Several examples exist of companies that have become successful through innovation as a result of embracing corporate culture. For instance, “Apple and FedEx companies in US are recognized globally for their innovation”. Similarly, Samsung and Infosys have become successful in India and Korea despite the fact that similar companies are afraid to launch in countries with lagging economy. Most of these successes are attributed to “forward-looking and risk-taking” corporate culture.
Hatching New Ideas: - As the name suggests, “Innovative Culture” is concerned with new ideas. However, new ideas cannot be implemented unless they are created. Leslei asserts that innovative culture should give room for and encourage new ideas through various avenues. First and foremost, organizational stakeholders should be allowed free think time to develop new ideas. Secondly, innovative organizational culture “Provides Idea List” and creates “Open Office Hours” for imputing or inventing new thoughts and holding discussions with stakeholders respectively. Lastly, new ideas for innovation can be hatched if an organization acquires ideas perceived to be productive from other organizations.
Innovative Drivers: - Research shows that an organization cannot engage in innovation if it does not have the capacity to generate new ideas. It is on this basis that Leslei offers rigor and discipline, leading from top and acting as a venture capitalist as the three major innovative drivers. Innovation is a process that needs to be instituted and inaction of such processes largely relies on the top management’s willingness to “encourage generation and experimentation of new ideas”.
Creating Innovative Organizational Culture: - No organization is founded on an innovative culture. This implies that innovative culture is a process that is created by an organization. Consequently, certain organizational cultures propagate innovation while others do not. For innovation to be created, an organization should embrace specific attitudes in its operation. This includes, recruiting and retaining talent which in the long run will promote creativity and innovation. Secondly, the organization should create a challenging environment for its stakeholders who intern will strive to develop new products and explore new markets.
The staff should be encouraged to share information through networking while rewarding new invention brought into the organization. As envisioned by Leslei, mentoring, sponsoring and championing stakeholders for any effort made in the company offers confidence and conviction for an individual to strive for new inventions.
In summary, innovation is an important process in an organization. It can either be encouraged or hindered by attitudes, values and experiences that an organization holds. Whereas corporate culture is perceived to be what drives innovation in the present global market, other factors such as drivers, new ideas and creation play a critical role in promoting innovation. Of all these factors, it is the management’s leadership style that matters because they are the direction givers.