Financial Data
Updated 29 Feb 2020

How to be an innovative organisation

Create the right culture in your business to drive innovation.

Su-Mari Du Bruyn, 28 October 2015  Share  0 comments  Print

All the answers to your unique business lifestage questions

Being an innovative organisation is about cultivating an organisational culture that is dynamic, creative, continuously experimenting and constantly evolving.

To accomplish this, you need to convince staff to become involved with contributing suggestions as well as the implementation thereof and to foster a habit of highlighting challenges, identifying root causes and taking effective preventative action.

Related: The bottom line

This may sound incredibly simple, yet the majority of organisations either struggle to get it right or think they have got it right, but are frustrated that the results are not living up to their expectations. 

What does it take to be a truly innovative organisation?

1. Thinking

The scary and unfortunate reality is that many of your team members may have been coming to work for a long time now with their brains switched off, merely in execution mode. You need people to be constantly questioning everything around them.

Without thinking about what we are doing and how we are doing it, we are unlikely to identify challenges and / or opportunities.

2. Problem solving skills

Identifying challenges have very little benefit if it does not lead to action and solutions. In fact, remaining focussed on a never ending list of challenges can be very destructive for morale. However, if you are able to identify and solve problems, it becomes a whole different story.

3. Continuous learning

Continuous learning indirectly helps to keep the brain in thinking mode and also contributes to solving more problems faster. Often seemingly completely unrelated topics can inspire a new take on processes or challenges and even spark ideas that lead to amazing opportunities.

4. Effective communication channels

Often the missing link between thinking and actually changing things for the better lies in communication. Communication must be multi directional, so there must be ways for information to flow upwards, downwards and sideways.

There must also be more than one way for this to happen, because people have different preferences. Make sure that anyone can participate and contribute and that information is able to flow quickly and conveyed accurately.

Related: Leadership lessons learnt from the amazing women in my life

5. Trust

People need to believe that they will be listened to and that their ideas will really be considered.

They also need to believe that they are in an environment where one can openly discuss issues and that it is safe for them to experiment and make mistakes without suffering negative consequences.

Trust does not come guaranteed with your job title - it is earned over time and is based on consistency of behaviour.

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About the author

Su-Mari Du Bruyn

Su-Mari Du Bruyn is co-founder of Adapt To Change. She is a qualified HR practitioner and logistics specialist and is passionate about Continuous Improvement and people development. Through Adapt To Change she assists businesses to improve their business performance and better engage their staff. Su-Mari also recently launched her e-book business guide, The Power to Ignite. Available exclusively on for Kindle, The Power to Ignite is a practical guide to the powerful art of Continuous Improvement, sharing proven methodology and highlighting important dos and don’ts in engaging staff and improving business results.

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