Culture and Innovation: The Secret Sauce

The Conference Board of Canada, 45 pages, November 18, 2013
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Innovative organizational culture needs to be directly managed if Canadian companies want to improve their innovation performance. Find out how in this report, which provides a framework and suggests effective managerial approaches.

Document Highlights

Culture matters because it affects the innovation process. And while it is easy to talk about innovation culture, it is difficult to understand, hard to measure, and even harder to do something about. In this era of “what gets measured gets managed,” categorizing innovation culture as unmeasurable effectively relegates it to the dark corner of management. Although there is growing acceptance of the relationship between culture and innovation, the managerial theory and metrics are greatly underdeveloped Companies tend to manage culture indirectly through their decisions on organizational structure, human resources, financing, and other managerial factors. This needs to change if Canadian businesses want to improve their innovation performance.

This report argues in favour of the direct management of innovative organizational culture. It develops a conceptual framework, considers evidence, presents metrics, and suggests specific approaches to the management of an innovative organizational culture.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Chapter 1—Introduction

  • About this Report

Chapter 2—Managing Innovation Culture

  • What Is Culture?
  • What Is Innovation?
  • Why Culture Matters to Innovation
  • People or Organization?
  • Conclusion

Chapter 3—Leading Practices

  • Leading Practices
  • Managing Innovation Culture
  • Conclusion

Chapter 4—Toward an Innovative Culture

  • Two Measures Beat as One
  • Aligning Innovation Management and Metrics
  • From Innovation Metrics to Cultural Metrics
  • Diagnosing Your Innovation Culture
  • Diagnostic Tools
  • Analytics
  • Using the Data
  • Conclusion

Chapter 5—Takeaways

  • A Five-Stage Process for Innovation Culture Management

Appendix A—Bibliography

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