One of the most frequently asked questions we get from clients is how we can help them transform their organization to become more innovative and create a culture of continuous innovation that enables strategic renewal. A simple question but a big challenge. It touches the fundamentals of why anyone would want to start a business. Businesses exist because of opportunity and opportunity is why we innovate. But what enables successful innovation, how do we embed that innovation culture (innovation culture – everybody wants one)? Much has been written about it and based on 25 years of working with clients we have our own views how to achieve this.

When people read or hear about successful companies that pursue one good opportunity after another they admire them and try to understand how they do it (innovation = admiration). The Apple’s and Google’s of this world, the Lego’s and Virgin’s they all have great stories to share and each is a worthwhile company to study. But benchmarking, copying or emulating doesn’t guarantee success; on the contrary it often leads to disappointing results. If the ambition is a complete transformation of your organization into one where innovation is at the core of what you do then there are better ways.

We believe that there are three key elements that businesses’ should focus on to address this challenge:

Create a clear purpose for the organization
Use that purpose to make innovation happen from day one
And make it stick in your organization