Overcoming Barriers to Sustainable Innovation Culture Change

image: pathway throughOur sustainability consulting practice focuses a considerable amount of time researching and discussing changes in corporate culture.  These experiences reveal there to be a significant reform occurring in companies around the world.  But to what characteristics should business sustainability leaders being paying the closest attention?

A recent Innovation On Purpose post, Culture - A Powerful Innovation Barrier, discusses the challenges many companies face.   Describing how past ‘efficiency generations’ have created a level of inflexibility in today’s business structures, the article presents an opportunity for cultural reform.  The author poses several questions:

  • What is the value proposition of changing the culture - could we state the reasons why we should change the culture, and could we quantify the value of the change? 
  • Is your culture really responsive and valuable to what you do now, or have you simply adjusted your goals and your work to the culture as it exists? 
  • Do you understand why your culture will block innovation efforts, and why that is a problem? 

“Work to instill a culture that is open to taking risks. Create forums for new thinking and grant permission to experiment, fail, and learn. Communicate to the organization that failure is acceptable if it’s fast, cheap, and productive.” –CEB Views

The business world too often approaches sustainable development with traditional structured implementation processes.  In contrast, our sustainability consulting has observed that those who excel are those who step outside the traditional business structures to add and spontaneity to their long-term business sustainability plans.  At Taiga Company we maintain an open culture as part of our core values, and our sustainability consulting encourages clients to include active engagement as part of an overarching business sustainability plan.  

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