In a hugely disrupted business landscape, creating a culture of innovation that allows organizations to remain adaptable and profitable is vital.
An organization that can adapt in the face of changing circumstances, while continually enhancing its efficiency and performance, is well placed for future success.
We caught up with Giuliana Veronese, EMEA Digital Solution Center Director, Stefanini EMEA, to discuss how establishing this culture of innovation – and ensuring it translates to improved business results – works in practice.
What are the key considerations for businesses looking to create an innovation culture?
“It’s important for businesses to consider whether they are set up in a way that fosters innovation and take steps to lay the foundation for a more innovative culture.
“Is there an open culture, where people can share honest feedback across the organization and with people occupying all levels of seniority? Do teams communicate openly outside of their own departments and functions, or are there silos? It’s often said that Steve Jobs designed the Pixar offices so that people from different teams would interact with each other on their way to the toilet. That offers a lesson for businesses –simply ensuring people across the organization are communicating with each other is a really important first step in terms of spotting efficiencies and ensuring that idea generation draws on a broad pool of knowledge. The next stage is to ensure that internal cross-business collaboration is supported by collaboration with expert partners externally – who should themselves be drawing on the broadest possible pool of knowledge to support companies in realizing their goals.”
Are there any barriers to developing this more innovative and collaborative culture?
“It’s likely every organization will face its own specific challenges but one of the general issues is that change is a bit less comfortable than staying the same. A business needs a senior leadership team bought into the change and able to communicate the value in embracing new ways of working to realize new opportunities.
“There’s also the speed of decision making that’s required – there’s not a huge amount of value in creating a collaborative culture that identifies areas for innovation if there are always roadblocks and delays when it comes to implementing meaningful change. We’ve seen this in the financial services sector in particular, where agile start up businesses are innovating at a much faster rate than legacy banks and have begun punching above their weight when it comes to growth as a result.”
How do business overcome these barriers and become more innovative?
“There definitely needs to be a concerted effort among an organization’s senior leadership team to lay the groundwork for a more collaborative and agile business culture. This in turn can ensure that across the organization people realize the business isn’t simply pursuing change for the sake of change but is adapting so that it can innovate at speed and anticipate and respond to new competitors, emerging technologies and new customer demands.
“At Stefanini, we also help businesses uncover roadblocks to embracing innovation, while also drawing on our innovation ecosystem to deliver solutions that boost engagement with the power of transformation across the organization.
“With the right commitment internally and by drawing on external expertise, businesses can build bridges across the organization, create a growth strategy, break down silos and establish a clear vision, which will prove crucial to gaining a competitive advantage.”