Cris Beswick - Having spent over a decade as a successful entrepreneur in the consulting industry, Cris is now recognised globally as a thought leader on innovation strategy, leadership and culture and a pioneer in the field of measuring innovation maturity. Cris is the co-author of 'Building a Culture of Innovation’, an Amazon bestseller, and voted one of the CMI’s top books on innovation in 2017. He is the co-founder of innovation thought leadership platform The Future Shapers, a business school adjunct faculty member and a board advisor at The Innovators CoLab and The Global Innovation Institute. He is also the co-founder of the boutique innovation advisory firm OUTCOME where he’s helped some of the world’s most ambitious CEOs, visionary leaders, Fortune 500 companies and Governments solve their most complex innovation challenges, develop game-changing innovation capability and build a culture of innovation.
Co-founder of innovation advisory firm OUTCOME
How important is culture for corporate innovation?
Think of an ant nest. A superficial glance might give an impression of purposeless activity. But the more you look, the more you come to understand just how interconnected all of the actions, movements, behaviours and relationships are; every ant playing its part in delivering food, stability and longevity to the colony.
Now think of your organisation's innovation efforts. Are they streamlined and interconnected? Are they a 'system' designed to deliver a cohesive vision? Or are your people just doing lots and lots of stuff, measuring actions rather than outcomes in some vague hope that in-novation and growth will follow? The difference between the two scenarios is, quite simply, culture!
However, on the face of it, it's not challenging to disagree. You might say leadership or strategy are critical determinants of innovation. And yes, leadership plays its part, but only if that leadership is commit-ted to building a culture of innovation. And yes, strategy plays its role, but only if that strategy has been designed specifically around the pursuit of innovation-led outcomes. Quite simply, you can't just overlay the pursuit of innovation onto an existing structure and hope to get away with it. True innovation - innovation that delivers real change and makes fundamental differences - requires a root and branch change. And that only happens within a system where strategy, leadership and culture align every individual and every process around the same pursuit [ ... ]
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