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How 35 Innovation & Strategy Practitioners View Innovation Culture

At this year’s Strategyzer Bootcamp, I asked our 35 participants to sketch what characterizes companies that are good at innovation with our Culture Map tool. Here’s a synthesis of what they came up with.

If you’re new to the Culture Map tool, check out our introductory blog post here.

At our Bootcamp in June I challenged our participants to sketch out an ideal innovation culture in groups of 2 in a 15 minute exercise. It was fascinating to watch each group find a shared language for the outcomes, behaviours, enablers and blockers they felt were important for nurturing a culture of innovation.

Shamira Miller from the Strategyzer content team synthesized the 15 Culture Maps into the following streams:

  1. Holistic Strategy: In this stream, participants noted that the future business (explore) has to be just as important as the existing business (exploit). Companies that truly innovate manage a portfolio of existing AND new businesses. Leadership also has to make a real commitment to innovation by contributing time, resources, training and power.

  2. Sustaining Growth: Here participants mapped out the behaviours, enablers and blockers to perform growth innovation inside a company. Notice how the stickies show actions that encourage experimentation and potential failure, customer-centric activities (e.g. get out of the building), and metrics that focus on exploring new value propositions and business models.  

  3. Engaged Teams: A team of innovation practitioners needs to be motivated and nurtured to do great work. In fact, they should be encouraged to choose innovation as a career path, not as career suicide. These cross-functional teams have to be small, diverse, and open-minded. They need to challenge status-quo thinking that can bleed in from the existing business. Innovation teams also need to properly rewarded for their efforts and success.

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