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INNOVATION

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People, not technology, drive innovation Camelia Ram looks at how firms can tackle three common barriers to the creation of innovative cultures

Since Satya Nadella joined Microsoft, the share price of the company has more than tripled. He recognized that while the company had been relying on star products, its future rested on an ability to continuously learn and quickly adapt to changing customer needs. The growth mindset became central to enabling the right behaviours. The performance management system was overhauled to reflect frequent check-ins, and employees began to be rewarded for their ability to both build on existing capabilities and support the success of others. Daily pulse surveys to track learning from failure and support the growth of others became the norm. This concerted approach to engendering the right culture in one of the world’s leading technology companies highlights that people, not the technology itself, are the drivers of innovation. However, organizations can all too easily inhibit the development of the right conditions for people to come together to creatively solve meaningful problems and create winning products and services. There are three common obstacles.

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Obstacle 1 An unconvincing proposition

Organizations which cannot convince employees that they are a company worth working for quickly find themselves in trouble. Today’s multi-generational virtual workers are looking for progression opportunities, for career flexibility and mobility, and for inclusive Dialogue Q1 2020

practices. Businesses that do not provide these in a credible and transparent way sow the seeds of unhealthy competition and undermining behaviours among employees. Boston Consulting Group (BCG), one of the world’s leading management consulting firms, has consistently been ranked near the top of Fortune’s ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ list since 2006. In a work

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Dialogue Q1 2020  

The second wave: Preparing for digital transformation New technologies are starting to transform products, services and business models tha...

Dialogue Q1 2020  

The second wave: Preparing for digital transformation New technologies are starting to transform products, services and business models tha...