Lead a Culture of Innovation

Fast Company listed Nike as the #1 Most Innovative Company in 2013#FCMOSTINNOVATIVE . Their article takes note of of the wonderful and innovative products that Nike has recently developed and highlights the company’s strong economic growth. But, what was particularly interesting and  what the reader should pay special attention to is a quote in the middle of the article regarding the CEO, Mark Parker, “This story is about how he has achieved that growth, and how he has driven a commitment to the company’s culture.”

Culture is the main driver of innovation. When leaders can foster a culture of innovation, it increases the likeliness of their company to successfully innovate.


Reading this, you might think that your company already has an entrenched culture, and there is no way you can change it.  Think again!

Below is a list of barriers to an innovative culture as discussed in this free white paper: What Kills Innovation? Your Role as a Leader in Supporting an Innovative Culture. Read through the list to see if any of them ring true for  your company and ask yourself what you can do to  change them.

  • Fear and punishment (These cannot co-exist with a willingness to take the risks that innovation requires.)
  • Lack of meaning (If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there – no vision; no innovation.)
  • Not seeing that you make a difference (If your work falls into a black hole and seems disconnected from organizational vision and goals – why bother?)
  • Loss of confidence (If you only hear about what doesn’t work and never hear any appreciation, you may start to discount your own ideas.)
  • Resentment and frustration (Why should you do something above and beyond for an organization that doesn’t treat you well?)
  • Implicit and explicit reinforcement of the status quo (If you step out of line, you will be pulled back into the fold or be pushed out.)

To learn about additional barriers and to consider how to overcome them, download this free white paper: What Kills Innovation? Your Role as a Leader in Supporting an Innovative Culture.

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