I failed my way to success
— Thomas Edison

Economic growth is driven by increased productivity, which comes from constant innovation.

Constant innovation is powered by an innovative culture, where everyone is motivated to increase productivity. Employees in such a culture feel directly connected to the success of the organization.

Innovative cultures don’t mistake technology for innovation. They know that technology doesn’t innovate, people innovate-with or without technology.

Humans are natural innovators, and organizations are filled with them.  The best innovators are those closest to the business, who know best how to improve productivity.

Yet, most organizations maintain cultures of execution, where command-and-control is prioritized and rewarded.  Contributions to productivity are not even evaluated.  These cultures actually stifle innovation.

An innovative culture develops iteratively, from the top down.  Employees respond to what they see, not what they hear. Leaders must take action and allow innovation to flourish.

That means engaging employees in the process, regularly soliciting their input, and implementing their best ideas. Employees must see success, but also that they can safely experiment and fail.

In this way, innovation becomes encoded in the organization’s DNA. It’s an essential part of the management process, encouraged and supported. It becomes self-reinforcing and durable.

There are few things more rewarding to employees than knowing they make a difference, that their inputs are valued, that they contribute to the growth and success of the organization.

That’s why an innovative culture is the very best recruiting and retention strategy.

Innovation increases productivity, which drives economic growth.  Organizations that achieve economic growth lead, dominate, and disrupt their markets.

What about your culture?