Pixar is one of the leading entertainment enterprises in the world, primarily popular for its animated movies. To scale creativity without compromising on quality, Pixar has a dynamic workplace culture. Braintrust is a key mechanism by which the organization roots out mediocrity. It’s a process of putting people in a room and candidly exchanging diverse viewpoints about a movie. This blunt assessment allows Pixar to think more creatively and continuously improve the quality of performance.
This collaborative and mission-driven approach is a part of Pixar’s innovation culture. Wondering how to drive innovation culture in your organization? Read on!
What Is Innovation Culture?
With the rise of entrepreneurship and startup businesses, it’s become evident that innovation leads to growth. Creativity is a valuable trait and businesses have recognized its importance within an organization. Innovation needs to be hardwired if you want businesses to be sustainable (i.e., well-performing in the long-run). This is why creating an innovation culture has become crucial in today’s fast-paced world.
An innovation culture refers to an environment that supports out-of-the-box (or creative) thinking. By building an innovation culture, businesses encourage idea generation and implementation across all divisions and departments. However, an innovation culture isn’t all about brainstorming and formulating annual strategies. There is plenty of focus on new opportunities, requiring you to think more deeply about discovery, experimentation and development.
A positive innovation culture in organizations may not always be visible but it’s indirectly evident through attitudes, norms and values. In fact, it’s successful when everyone is part of the conversation and is willing to step outside their comfort zones. The culture incentivizes employees by fostering the willingness and ability to innovate.
The Importance Of Leadership In Innovation Culture
The idea of innovation boils down to looking at problems from a fresh perspective. It’s the freedom to express ideas and perceiving creativity as a virtue. While ideation is crucial, organizations should also focus on fleshing them out if they want to see visible changes. Leaders are instrumental in driving that change and helping employees unfold their creative potential. Let’s look at the various ways in which leaders can help in building an innovation culture in an organization.
The first step of creating an innovation culture is establishing a safe space where employees can freely exchange their thoughts and opinions. You can achieve this when you allow some levels of autonomy—and trusting your team to do their job. Encourage them to think independently and break down echo chambers.
Fostering a culture of innovation takes time because long-term changes are time-consuming. There is always a degree of uncertainty involved as well and things may not work out every time. However, this doesn’t mean that you avoid taking risks altogether. Help your team learn from failures and continue to motivate them.
Acknowledge And Reward
This type of corporate culture is only successful when you recognize and reward employees for thinking innovatively. The more you acknowledge, the more motivated they’ll be to look at daily tasks through an innovation lens. New problem-solving strategies will also improve productivity and efficiency.
It’s easy to fall victim to an ‘idea culture’ while developing an innovation culture. It means that you’re unable to move beyond the idea stage and embrace the action-oriented stage. Find suitable resources, create a timeline and convert your teams’ ideas into action. Show them that you’re serious and passionate about change.
True inspiration and innovation can strike anywhere and everywhere. Stepping outside the office and taking your team to informal events can help them feel comfortable and vulnerable. You’ll be surprised to see how a difference in the environment can help individuals pay attention to details and connect the dots.
Although these strategies are useful in building an innovation-oriented culture, communication is the key catalyst responsible for transformation. Here are a few ways to get everyone on the same page.
Attach a purpose behind the transformative change; you need to have a real purpose and reason that’s definitely going to win people over
Be transparent about your thoughts, ideas and feedback when it comes to problem-solving; individuals feel confident about trusting you when you’re honest
Use personal stories or anecdotes to reinforce your message and push employees to think radically
Channel You Inner Innovation
While leadership qualities are the beating heart of innovation culture, it’s equally important to lead yourself. When you embrace openness, you encourage others to engage in unorthodox ideas and solutions. Harappa Education’s Unleashing Creativity Course will help you become a professional who uses principles of design thinking to solve real-world problems. You’ll learn to drive innovation of products, services and internal processes, and use an iterative approach to generate, test and refine new ideas. Look in before you look out and change the world!
Explore topics such as What is Design Thinking, Examples of Design Thinking & The Process of Design Thinking from Harappa Diaries and develop the ability to come up with creative solutions to problems.
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