One of the buzzwords that keep coming back in my discussions with clients and colleagues is innovation. Every organisation wants to be innovative. But what is it we’re talking about, and how do you embed a culture of innovation in your business?
There are many fundamental differences between the opinions and actions of Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, the two final candidates in the latest French presidential elections, which saw Mr. Macron win and become the youngest president of the Fifth Republic. One difference that struck me was how they both approach the cultural debate.
There’s a silent power within your organisation that’s quietly moulding the patterns of behaviour that will determine your culture. A survey probably won’t detect it, but identifying and shifting it will have a significant impact on performance. We’re not talking about values or behaviours here, but something far less universal and more specific to individual organisations. The dominant, but tacit, influencer that has the capacity to both limit and liberate a business: our shared organisational beliefs.
Last week I attended the 2014 Telstra Business Women's Awards in Tasmania, an event celebrating the achievements of inspirational women in business.
What particularly struck me during the speeches made by the finalists, was how often they mentioned culture as an important factor in their success. Most referred to the importance of what they did - what their colleagues did - and the set of values and beliefs driving it. These are the ways in which culture can be defined.
I have read two books recently which unashamedly advocate love and compassion as important cultural attributes for the future.
“Love is the Killer App” by Tim Sanders identifies our compassion, our networks and our knowledge as the currencies of the future. “Firms of Endearment” by Sisodia,Wolfe, and Sheth profiles, in the genre of Jim Collins, a number of companies who have focused on building values of love and passion to facilitate their success.