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Changing Corporate Culture for Innovation

Changing Corporate Culture for Innovation

| On 10, Oct 2008

Praveen Gupta

Current discussion about innovation has been dominated by the need to create a culture for institutionalizing innovation.

I posed the question “What does culture for innovation entail?” to my students representing cultures of France, China, Korea, Azerbaijan, USA, India, Spain and Romania. (I would like to hear from you about culture change that you have experienced at corporations. Please share your stories.)

I got the following responses:

  • Rules and standards
  • Objectives/purpose/goal
  • Code of Ethics
  • Work atmosphere
  • Social responsibility/ caring
  • Listening
  • Bureaucracy – Speed of decision making
  • Communication
  • Preferences and interests
  • Hierarchy/ structure
  • Shared benefits
  • History/ traditions
  • Rewarding failures
  • Recognizing successes
  • Motivation
  • Help/ support

Returning to the creating culture for innovation how does one take into account all the above aspects of culture? One can see that it is almost redesigning a corporation for innovation to change the culture. I think it would be a very difficult task. Can we really change the corporate culture for innovation? Or should we focusing on installing process for innovation in a given culture? In the recently concluded Business Innovation Conference, 5 out of 30 presentations were geared towards the ‘culture’.