The Power of Culture


in Innovation

Do you know any CEO who wants their company to become less innovative? Is anyone calling on employees to do a better job of thinking inside the box? No, everyone’s in favor of innovation and creativity.

Companies that are fit for the future are also the ones that continuously innovate. The most crucial factors for organizations to become more innovative are strategic alignment and a culture that supports innovation.

Booz & Company’s annual study of companies that invest the most in innovation reveals a surprising fact: Fewer than half say that their business strategy, innovation strategy, and corporate culture are aligned. Furthermore, the data reveals that the strategy-culture connection has a powerful multiplier effect, dramatically increasing the effectiveness of R&D spending. (Apple, named first for innovativeness by executives, ranks just 70th in R&D spending.) read more

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Paul W November 13, 2011 at 11:47

To back up your point, it is interesting to note that while strategies will change with the circumstances of business, culture most often remains the same or takes a lot longer to grow; less time to be lost.

Culture, based on any research which I have done, starts witht the founders ideas and managment practices. If established at the beginning – witness John Deere and 3M – culture builds over decades even through generations of management. The implication is that strategy must always take into account the basic culture of the organization or the ‘alignment’ will disjointed.

The ideas of alignment needs to extend to all personnel, and not just top management and strategy. Culture is often difficult to describe. Are there really good examples of a CEO or Board articulating a company’s culture?


John Yeng November 13, 2011 at 12:08

The most well-known and best example out there of an innovative culture led by an innovative CEO is Apple. The late Steven Jobs set the example of what it means to be innovative and push the limits of what’s possible, he not just articulated it, he walked the talk himself


Zhenlin Wu November 14, 2011 at 05:20

Strategy gets executed best in the environment ( culture ) that is aligned with it and fully supports it. Can’t agree with Paul’s point that culture starts with founder’s idea and practice. My organization is newly started. It makes me think more about how we as initial members should set the culture …


Philip G November 15, 2011 at 01:20

Most people think an “innovative culture” is a lot of talented people thinking big thoughts. In fact, it is simply a structured innovation process instituted from the top, and open input of ideas into that process. Everyone has good ideas, not just “insanely brilliant” people.


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