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How culture drives innovation

Too many people see innovation as a project when it's really a process. Or maybe it's a culture. 

Every business, every organization, every person has to decide what role innovation will play for them. If you crave stability, then innovation will be driven by necessity: fixing things that don't work anymore. But if you want to be a leader in building a better future, then you need to consider how innovation will be integrated into everything. 

Digital Tonto: How Experian’s Networked Culture Drives Innovation, 2019-Apr-24 by Greg Satell

In Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance, the bestselling memoir of the his historic turnaround at IBM, Lou Gerstner wrote, “I came to see, in my time at IBM, culture isn’t just one aspect of the game—It is the game. In the end, an organization is nothing more than the collective capacity of its people to create value.”

There has been endless discussion about whether change should be driven from the top-down or the bottom-up, but that is, for the most part, a red herring. True transformation tends to move side-to-side, driven through horizontal connections among peers.... 

[Satell gives three examples at Experian.]

Many firms have clubs, employee groups and volunteer efforts. Seminars aren’t particularly unusual, either. Yet it’s not any one program or platform, but how those initiatives are optimized to widen and deepen informal bonds across the organization, that makes the difference.

The truth is that, today, competitiveness is no longer determined by the sum of all efficiencies within a business, but the sum of all connections.