Corporate Culture

Back To Garden

An 8-Step Process for Creating a Sustainable Culture of Innovation


By: Idea Champions

  1. Whet the Appetite: Stimulate your workforce’s innate hunger to innovate.

  2. Stake and Prepare the Ground: Clarify the scope of your effort… increase organizational readiness.

    • Ask your senior team to prioritize the company’s top five innovation needs.


    • Quantify the cost/benefits of innovating in these top five fields.

    • Ask middle managers what they can do to establish a culture of innovation.

    • Begin researching idea management software options.

  3. Find the Seeds: Locate powerful, new ideas – the fuzzy front end of innovation.

    • Ask your direct reports for three well-developed ideas per week.

    • Re-state your company’s biggest challenges in the form of questions beginning with the words “How can we?”

    • Identify ten already scheduled meetings and dedicate at least 25% of these meetings to idea generation.

    • Invite selected customers/clients to a series of brainstorming sessions.

    Inspiring Culture: 5 Elements

  4. Plant the Seeds: Improve the process for new ideas being pitched and taking root.

    • Identify best “idea pitching” practices and spread the word..

    • Identify skillful, in-house communicators and ask them to mentor others.

    • Ask employees what they need from management in order to make the company’s idea pitching process more inviting, humane, and effective.

    • Train your workforce in the art and science of making skillful presentations.

  5. Fence the Garden: Protect aspiring innovators from naysayers and idea killers.

    • Eliminate all unnecessary innovation metrics and bureaucratic protocols.

    • Identify your company’s biggest naysayers and serve them with an “aspiring innovators restraining order.”

    • Request all naysayers to seek you out (instead of aspiring innovators) with their concerns about experimental projects and pilot programs.

    • Provide safe havens for aspiring innovators to collaborate on new projects away from the scrutiny and micromanagement of in-house skeptics..

    Innovation-friendly Organization

  6. Tend New Growth: Find healthy ways to nurture the development of new possibilities.

  7. Thin and Transplant: Evaluate, simplify & decide… know what to focus on & what to defer.

    • Identify and communicate the criteria by which new ideas will be evaluated.

    • Identify the resources available to support new growth initiatives.

    • Establish “greenhouse environments” that will enable your company to nurture the growth of new ideas and pilot programs.

  8. Celebrate the Harvest: Acknowledge the bounty and the gardeners…express appreciation.

    • Take some time this week to individually acknowledge each of your direct reports for the efforts they’ve made this year.

    • Ask your direct reports to take some time this week to acknowledge all of their direct reports.

    • Dedicate some time at your next already scheduled meeting to acknowledge a team or department for their collective efforts to innovate.

    • Put together a team of people to schedule, plan, and facilitate an event to celebrate your company’s “innovation harvest” for the year.

    The Jazz of Innovation          The Jazz of Innovation: 11 Practice Tips

Innovation-adept Culture

29 Obstacles To Innovation

Inspiring Culture

Team Culture

Creating a Culture for Innovation

Transform Your Business Into an Innovative Culture

Establishing a Relentless Growth Attitude

The Fun Factor

Innovation Culture Quotes

Innovation Management

The Jazz of Innovation

Continuous Innovation

Innovation System

SMART Innovation

Inspirational Business Plans

Successful Innovation

Idea Management

Cross-pollination of Ideas

Creativity Management


Asking Searching Questions

5 Strategies for Creating a Culture of Questioning

Letting the Best Ideas Win

Idea Management Quotes

Freedom to Fail

Stupid Failure vs. Noble Failure

Turning Failures To Opportunities




Humorous Business Plans

How To Succeed In Innovation

Free Downloads

An 8-Step Process for Creating a Culture of Innovation (article)

Smart Innovation (screen saver, 25 slides)