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Cultural Brilliance - A Turf to Thriving Innovations

- By Dwaipayan, 21 September 2020 | 6 MIN READ


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Innovation is all about the changes that companies see on a daily basis in some form, even minuscule changes matters – it’s a metamorphosis that takes place within. Take a close look at Google and Apple and you’ll see how passionately and consistently they innovate whether it’s the products they’re putting out or their own internal culture. This is possible only because they’ve got the level of creativity and an attitude to take risks which sets them apart to continue to transform time and time again.

Take a deep dive and you’ll notice innovative cultures tend to make a commitment to continuous learning. What we see is a truly innovative culture – you might see a culture that is not asleep at the wheel, culture tends to be self-aware, a culture that does not hurt people or not being disrespectful to each other.

Now, when we talk about organizations, in general, you will observe some gaps. Gaps like, you just ask a couple of teams to become innovative without looking at your entire culture. 

Dynamics of Learning, Listening, & Risk Taking

The culture of innovation really needs to be watchful of the spirit and actions of the people and whether or not they want to even be innovative.

People who like to preserve systems may be more conservative about things. It’s important to understand if people want to be innovative because even within an innovative culture and organizations, you are still going to need people managing risks. You’re going to need people managing finances and operations in some ways. The core structural standpoint of the organization demands its people to need to be owning the very idea.

So making sure with people to see who’s even interested in being innovative? Who thinks like that? Who wants to be more innovative and productive and take risks head-on? Who has the temperament to align with that?

Innovative cultures can become brilliant cultures, and brilliant cultures are quick to respond to the needs of their people, their systems, and the external environment. Cultures that are innovative, are well responding to their external environment because the external environment (customers) is buying their products and services. When there is an innovative culture with a deep influence within the organizations, the brilliance and responsiveness thrive and blossoms.

Can we really afford to Change Culture?

A remarkably interesting characteristic of corporate culture is when we operate for an organization, we indulge so much in work that we at times forget about the culture we are in. In another way, when people are new to an organization they catch-up with the flow of what is readily accepted – how a few operates and sets a pattern and get lost in how to understand the office vibes.

We accept those people in a company who have been there for a long time in an organization. They are considered to be the encyclopedia of the culture. They are habitually referred as the “go to” people as they know all the unspoken norms and the best strategies and approaches such as, “We only talk to John about specific topics” or “we never bring this up with the COO” or “we only bring certain things to Stella in this way”. Those are the culturally powerful folks around the company. 

A good question will be how do we approach these folks? Do they own the trends of the culture? Will they work with change?

Employees who are new to an organization tend to merge into a company’s organizational language and learn what rules to follow. They imitate others how they approach the rules as guides and articulate into the culture without even realizing it. Any change has great resistance and can stir up a whirlwind of emotion for everyone in an organization. The question is how to manage it.

It actually depends, some employees will cringe because they’re not great at change. While some will be excited because they’ve known it for a long time that things needed to change.

For change to take place needs a set of sensible and intentional conversations so everyone at the center of the cultural environment recognizes what needs to be done, why it’s being done, and then how this will set the company to achieve its goals. A look at the neuroscience of culture will help us to understand the fundamental level that culture does matter because it’s impacting how we think.

It’s truly worth about putting a plan in place – A Cultural Brilliance Model, we consciously and intentionally call it a design created. Through the model, we get to the heart of how we are going to put change in place and how we are going to stir a practice of innovative culture.

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