The Innovation Formula: The 14 Science-Based Keys for Creating a Culture Where Innovation Thrives
The Innovation Formula delivers strategies for building a culture where innovation can thrive, based on actual scientific research. Author Amantha Imber holds a PhD in organisational psychology, and has been called upon by a multinational roster of forward-thinking companiessuch as Google, Disney, LEGO and Virginto improve innovation at all levels. In this book, she shares her strategies and helps you tap into a substantial body of scientific research to help further innovative practice within your own company. For example, rewarding failed innovations can actually be a critical aspect of building an innovation culture. It's rarely done, but it fosters creative thought by signaling to people that failure is tolerated and is a necessary ingredient in the pursuit of innovation. This kind of practical, easily implemented strategy is the lynchpin of cultural change. This guide shares fourteen separate, yet interconnected strategies for improving your company's innovation culture, and provides illustrative examples of real-world companies who are putting these plans into action.
Business innovation guides tend to focus on how one company does it. But it's not your company, and just because it worked for Google or Apple doesn't mean that it's right for you. This book is different; these techniques are based on science, not gut feeling, and can apply to any organisation, at any level.
- Delve into the science behind successful culture shift
- For best results, reward innovation, whether or not it succeeds
- Learn the critical elements that foster organisation-wide creativity
- Implement practical strategies based on evidence, not anecdotes
Fostering a culture of innovation means making your company a safe space for new ideas. Over 95% of business leaders surveyed get it wrong, because intuition cannot compete with data. The Innovation Formula gives you a science-based framework for turning your organisation into one where innovation survives and thrives.
About the author ix
Innovation Culture Audit xxiii
Part I: Individual-level factors 1
1 Challenge 3
2 Autonomy 13
3 Recognition 27
Part II: Team-level factors 41
4 Debate 43
5 Team supportiveness 53
6 Collaboration 61
Part III: Leader-level factors 73
7 Supervisor support 77
8 Senior leader support 85
9 Resourcing 99
10 Goal clarity 111
Part IV: Organisation-level factors 119
11 Risk-taking 121
12 Cohesion 139
13 Participation 149
14 Physical environment 163
What now? 175
DR AMANTHA IMBER is an innovation psychologist, best-selling author, and founder of Australia's leading innovation consultancy Inventium. Amantha is the co-creator of the BRW Most Innovative Companies list, a list that Inventium compiles annually ranking Australia's top innovators. She has worked with forward-thinking companies such as Google, Disney, LEGO and Virgin. For more information, visit www.inventium.com.au.
Is your company a safe space for new ideas? What roles does workplace culture play in supporting creative output? THE INNOVATION FORMULA gives you a science-based framework for turning your organization into one where innovation survives and thrives.
“Leaders are often given the directive to ‘build a culture of innovation’ and immediately the mind goes to the Googles and Apples of the world. Images of beanbags, table-tennis, and ‘blue-sky’ workshops in far-off country retreats. However, what we know from research is that all of this is completely ineffective in creating a culture of innovation,” argues Dr. Amantha Imber, organizational psychologist and author of THE INNOVATION FORMULA: The 14 Science-Based Keys for Creating a Culture Where Innovation Thrives (Wiley, May 2016)
As if often the case, the voice of popular culture wins out over the voice of scientific research. THE INNOVATION FORMULA aims to remedy this—to give a clear, practical understanding of what has been scientifically proven to create a culture where creativity can thrive (and it has nothing to do with beanbag chairs). THE INNOVATION FORMULA:
- Delves into the science behind successful culture shift,
- Rewards innovation, whether or not it succeeds,
- Explores the critical elements that foster organization-wide creativity,
- Details practical, easy to implement, strategies based on evidence, not anecdotes.
Drawing from Samuel Hunter’s “Climate for Creativity’ study in combination with other meta-analysis and individual studies, THE INNOVATION FORMULA examines the 14 variables that hold up as having significant impact. Dr. Imber, who has been called upon by a multinational roster of forward-thinking companies, such as Google, Disney, LEGO and Virgin, is now sharing these strategies that you can implement within your own company.
Divided into four parts, THE INNOVATION FORMULA examines how to understand and put into use these techniques across the organization at any level of management or non-management:
- Individual Level: What do you need to be doing? Reflect on your own role and projects for ideas on how to change what you do and help inject more creativity into your job. If you’re a manager, help mentor and coach the people in your team more effectively—reconsider how to structure people’s roles, project and rewards. Focus here is on challenge, autonomy and recognition.
- Team Level: Whether you’re working in or leading a team of 2 or 20, take these ideas and integrate them into how your team functions—either from the grassroots up or the top down. This level emphasizes working in an environment where debate and discussion and different points of view are encouraged, the importance of support, and collaboration.
- Leadership Level: Tangible recommendations and examples for leaders or aspiring leaders include: leaders need to be perceived as supportive; they need to resource for innovation from a time, people and money perspective, and they need to set clear goals.
- Organizational Level: Arguably the most challenging to influence, given the reach you need to have, these variables need to be present across the entire organization. If you’re not a manager, this will educate you on the seeds you need to be planting to create change, such as risk-taking, cohesion, permission and physical work environment.
Business innovation guides tend to focus on how “one” company does it. But it’s not “your” company, and just because it worked for Google or Apple doesn’t mean that it’s right for you. The methodologies presented in THE INNOVATION FORMULA can apply to any organization, at any level.