How to create a culture of innovation

Apr 20, 2016

Innovation labs are revealing a new way of thinking: failing fast is a cheap, smart and valuable way to learn.

From our research and conversations with industry experts and retailers, below is GDR’s checklist for creating a successful culture of innovation in your business.

  1. Ask yourself, the following questions:
    1. How does your business signal to its employees that innovation is a vital strategic goal?
    2. How do you communicate that innovation is the responsibility of each and every employee?
    3. What tools and training have you given your employees to help them achieve this goal?
  2. Think about the internal silos that may present an obstacle to innovation. How can you encourage people to develop relationships and work across functions? Where possible, test different team setups.
  3. Consider the role of cultural translators within your organisation. Who is fluent in multiple specialisms and able to make connections across functions?
  4. Find ways to maintain the momentum of internal innovation projects. Provide junior members of the team with periods of uninterrupted access to the decision makers who have the knowledge and authority to progress their plans.
  5. Experiment with different ways for employees to share and test their ideas, and ensure you’ve considered how you will manage, filter and implement the ideas they generate. Set clear expectations to avoid disappointment and disengagement.
  6. Question what permission to fail looks like in your business. Is there a culture of fear and disengagement or openness and proactivity?





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