Five behaviours to promote innovation

The benefits of creating an innovative culture in the business context are recurring themes for fast growing companies in that it promotes;

  1. Sales growth, whether it be encouraging market understanding, marketing innovation or encouraging sales practices that are more persuasive;
  2. Staff engagement, by encouraging empowerment and a personal sense of contribution;
  3. Product development to develop new code, improved designs or more compelling media;
  4. Productivity to make more efficient or effective processes, learn from or find new suppliers; and  
  5. Agility: Openness to change to enable an organisation to adapt to new challenges and opportunities.

Despite its importance, according to a McKinsey Survey, 95% of executives are dissatisfied with the innovation performance in their business. 

At a high level, the positive behaviours to encourage innovation are just not surprising. Much research focuses on a lack of time for innovation causes issues, with ineffective meetings being highlighted as one of the primary barriers. Some businesses may seek to set aside time in the working week for innovation, others will concentrate on ideation practices, others on promoting insightful behaviours. In reality the opportunities to develop innovative cultures are broader, including the following key behaviour categories:

  1. Business focus on promoting innovation and seeking better ways to do things;
  2. Engagement, contribution and supporting creative capacity of employees;
  3. Creating an infrastructure that supports innovation, which as collaborative groups and learning;
  4. Developing a deep contextual understanding of the marketplace; and
  5. A willingness to do and learn, to make considered changes and be prepared to fail fast in a safe culture. 

In our experience of working with fast growing and established businesses, the barriers to innovation can be very subtle and specific (our approach measures over seventy indicators of innovation based on comprehensive and commercially applied studies). Identifying the specific blockers relevant to your culture, benchmarking to other innovative cultures and prioritising clear interventions to overcome barriers might not be a surprise, so it is puzzling why it is not more common.

We work with scale up businesses to established businesses to help them accelerate business outcomes, drawing on our experience of working in and with high growth businesses. Our integrated approach combines operational expertise covering leadership, strategy, people, finance, legal and IT. 

If you would like a confidential conversation to understand how we might help you, you can contact us on for one of our specialists to get back to you.

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