What does an inclusive and innovative culture look like?
Common characteristics are reported as including encouragement of risk and experimentation, tolerance for failure, entrepreneurial leadership, collaboration, enabling and empowering people to speak up.
Gary Pisano says, “Innovation is valuable precisely because it’s so hard. There’s a difference between being hard and being harsh. Being hard means I’m going to ask tough questions; be brutally honest; and hold you accountable for painful decisions such as shutting down projects. Candor is uncomfortable. But it doesn’t have to be demeaning. We can create environments where people are counted and treated with respect and dignity.”
Inclusion drives Innovation! This calls on leaders to purposefully create cultures of inclusion where individuals feel safe to speak openly and truthfully about problems or ideas that support change without fear of reprisal. “Decades of research on this concept indicates that psychologically safe environments not only help organizations avoid catastrophic errors but also support learning and innovation”, says Professor Amy Edmondson, Harvard Business School.
High performing teams are often characteristically inclusive and innovative.
However, building a culture of candour and robust debate can be challenging in organizations where people don’t tend toward open, honest, assertive behaviours and tend to shy away from challenge and confrontation.
Senior leaders need to set the tone through their own behaviour. They must be willing (and able) to provide and receive feedback. This means constructive critique of others’ ideas without being abrasive, demeaning or disempowering. One way to encourage this type of culture is for senior leaders to ask to be challenged or for criticism of their own ideas and approaches.
We bring behaviours like this one and strategies to organisations based on four stages of psychological safety.
- Stage One – Safe inclusion
- Stage Two – Safe motivated learning
- Stage Three – Safe contribution
- Stage Four – Safe challenging
High performance team coaching can help you build an inclusive and innovative team culture, and Kaleidoscope Consulting is capable of helping you and your team build the necessary skills and techniques. Learn more about our high performance team coaching services or view our upcoming training events today!
If you have a vision for creating and leading a more inclusive and innovative culture give Kaleidoscope Consulting a call to discuss strategies and behaviours required for success.
Lisa Baker – Founder and Director Kaleidoscope Consulting
Gary Pisano, “The Hard Truth About Innovative Cultures” – Harvard Business Review February 2019
The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation, and Growth – Professor Amy. C. Edmondson Harvard Business School