High level of Innovation Culture is very good, but also very important achievement to be proud of – for any company. But, the path to the right culture goes with the road called innovation climate.
Tidd & Bessant in “Managing Innovation” (more information about this book here) are describing this two terms in following way:
“Climate is defined as the recurring patterns of behavior, attitudes and feelings that characterize life in the organization. …Culture refers to the deeper and more enduring values, norms and beliefs within the organization.”
The right ecosystem for Innovation must be established inside organization and usually few months is needed to set up the innovation process and build or buy the tool that will support it. First step to right climate is the big support of management and readiness to include innovation into company’s mission and strategy. Next steps include internal marketing, dedication of resources and starting with idea management.
Internal marketing must be careful with using step-by-step introduction of new innovation program or process, it must reach everyone and everyone must know that ideas could come from each part of the company and from each employee. Methods to do it, could be intranet, posters, e-mails, newsletter or management letters.
Idea management needs a process and a tool. Process must be build carefully and in style with organization’s history and environment. Tool should be simple and easy-to-use, but capable to extract some statistics.
Innovation Culture needs more time, it needs to get to everyone in the company and everyone has to be aware about innovation. But, when we will know that we have established innovation culture? Of course, it could be measured with the numbers of ideas, the quality of ideas and the number of innovators, but true innovation culture must be felt.
Everyone can feel when the right wheels are turning, when ideas are coming in and they are smoothly processed or softly rejected. If people start to speak about ideas then innovation engine is in motion.
Shortly, climate will shape the environment, but culture will put it into life.