Culture of Innovation

Innovation is more than a creative idea. It is a disciplined process that translates ideas into a meaningful and valuable outcome.

Great teams encourage and stimulate innovation in each other. If you have had the experience of working and collaborating with a team ‘in the zone’ and ‘in the flow’ you know there is nothing else like it. Simply put, it makes us all greater than we are on our own. The engagement stimulates the best in us. We enjoy the adventure of creating together and contributing to the task, and the process energizes us to rally to the mission. Such experiences of working with a team leave an indelible memory and knowledge of how innovative, resourceful and capable we can be in the face of challenges, setbacks and opportunities. A powerful team that cultivates a culture of innovation can be the difference between being in or out of business.

Here are 32 characteristics of innovation. You can use these to evaluate your organization. Assess these 32 points to identify strengths and opportunity gaps in the culture of innovation as it applies to your organization. Rate each of the 32 statements below on the scale from (1) to (10) — (10) representing “very much so” or “always” and (1) representing – “hardly” or “never”. You can also ask your team members to score the team and use it to promote a conversation. The statements below represent an ideal situation. Do not be put off by these. It is meant to offer opportunity for evaluation against an idealized situation of superhuman innovators.

Culture of Innovation - An Anatomy

  1. Passion - We are passionate about solving problems
  2. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
  3. Discipline - We follow a disciplined process to harness creativity
  4. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
  5. Engagement - We generate intensity of engagement and focus
  6. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
  7. Diversity - We include diverse talents and viewpoints
  8. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
  9. Humor - We enjoy surprise, playfulness and a good laugh
  10. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
  11. Curiosity - We actively explore our environment, foray into other fields and probe new possibilities.
  12. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
  13. Collaboration - We cultivate open communication, synergy and collaboration.
  14. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
  15. Courage - We challenge the status quo and are ready to challenge assumptions and question authority.
  16. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
  17. Energy - We are energized by our work together. We enjoy being together.
  18. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
  19. Concord - we are comfortable in the 'messy' nature of business - we find harmony in chaos.
  20. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
  21. Trust - We cultivate mutual trust and respect
  22. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
  23. Zero gravity thinking - We encourage free thinking outside and inside the box
  24. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
  25. Beauty - We are fanatical about design, elegance and beauty
  26. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
  27. Intuition & analysis - We practice listening to intuition and balance it with analysis. We trust our guts and use our heads.
  28. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
  29. Boldness & humility - We encourage each other to be free of the good opinion of others with boldness, humility and honesty.
  30. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
  31. Strategy - We insist on clarity of context and are committed to work our strategy.
  32. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
  33. Vision - We are imaginative. We envision what can be and create future scenarios in pictures and narratives.
  34. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
  35. Integrity - We operate with uncompromised integrity
  36. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
  37. Sticking-to-itness - We persevere, follow through with tenacity and execute to get results
  38. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
  39. Inspiration - We honor the sense of awe and wonder, and encourage new ideas and inspiration.
  40. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
  41. Risk taking - We go beyond the comfort zone, step up to new opportunities and challenges. The only failure is not learning.
  42. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
  43. Reflective - We support a state of immersion, allowing questions and problems to incubate so we can ponder and seek out solutions
  44. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
  45. Adaptive - We are flexible, able to adapt our "game plan" and to entertain multiple ideas and solutions.
  46. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
  47. Responsibility - Casting blame is unacceptable. We are proactive and take full responsibility.
  48. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
  49. Big dreams - We promote big, audacious scenarios and see possibilities within the seemingly impossible.
  50. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
  51. Kaleidoscoping - We make new connections, recognize patterns and relationships and identify their organizing principles
  52. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
  53. Learn-ability - we continually seeks knowledge, process and integrate new input quickly, we move from information gathering to action.
  54. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
  55. Tolerating ambiguity - We are comfortable with ambiguity, able to hold contradictions, and don't settle for the quick fix.
  56. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
  57. Coaching - We challenge and coach each other to our individual best and the team's success.
  58. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
  59. Prototyping - We communicate ideas effectively, and translate abstract concepts into a meaningful and practical formulation with ease.
  60. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
  61. Resilient - We bounce back from disappointment and learn quickly from feedback. We are willing to try again.
  62. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
  63. Legacy - We are committed to making a difference, to 'change the world'.
  64. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.