Changing an organization’s culture is one of the hardest things you will ever have to do. However, it is a known fact that all companies have to become innovative, and that often means changing the culture. Simply installing innovation management software is not enough to make a change, you need to make sure that it is embraced across the board as well. Below are some tips to achieve this.
What Is Your Culture?
Before you can change your company’s culture, you need to define what it is to begin with. This will also tell you whether the company is ready to accept innovation management as part of the culture. If it is still a very hierarchical organization, with strong top down management solutions, you will find it very hard to give everybody equal access to your idea management software tools. You need to identify where you are, according to a scale identified by Maddock Douglas:
- You want to innovate.
- You know how to innovate.
- You want to empower others to innovate.
Your culture needs to get to the third point on that scale if it is to be successful.
Go Through the Scales
It is likely that your organization is currently on the first or second ladder of the scale, which means that you have to give it the time to grow to the third one. This won’t happen overnight, but it will happen if you have leadership and management on board. They have to make it clear to all staff that their ideas are not just wanted, they are needed. Additionally, they have to give their staff freedom to come up with ideas, rather than feeling that this means they are not working.
Change Your Mission Statement
At this point, you are in the process of changing the culture of your organization to one that embraces innovation. You need to make this clear in your company’s mission statement as well. Once the mission statement makes it clear that innovation lies at the heart of your organization, there is no going back and even the strongest hierarchical company will have to make some changes.
Last but not least, you need to recognize contributions. Don’t do this in a yearly, or even quarterly event that half your employees will not even show up for. Rather, you need to approach people individually and thank them for their ideas. If you use good innovation management software, it can automate this process for you. This simple little not of appreciation will go a long way to truly changing your culture once and for all. Feel free, as well, to actually approach employees and thank them for their ideas.
Changing culture is about embracing change, and that is one of the hardest things an organization can ever do. But it is possible, and it is something that will pay off massively. In fact, changing your organizational culture to embrace innovation should be your first innovative idea.