By Victor Assad

Many leaders believe that “culture” is soft and difficult to measure. It isn’t. In fact, it’s the ultimate performance driver. And you can manage what you measure. You can improve your financial performance by improving culture.

InnovationOne’s research shows that companies  ranking in the top quartile as scored by our InnovationOne Culture Index© have 22 percent higher financial results than those scoring in the fourth quartile. Among research labs, just a one percent increase in the score of our InnovationOne Culture Index© leads to a 20 to 30 percent increase in the Lab’s productivity measures.

Indeed, you can improve what you can measure.

There are many definitions of culture.

InnovationOne’s definition of culture is “how employees think and act.” Do employees in your organization think of ways to assist executives in achieving strategic goals? Or do they hunker done and only work on what they are told to do? Do employees in your organization think of the end users of your products or services and the outcomes delivered? Or are customer outcomes someone else’s job? After learning customer or other employee feedback, do employees in your organization act to improve products or services or ignore the feedback?

InnovationOne’s definition of culture is “how employees think and act.”

One of the most comforting thoughts for any executive is knowing that employees are thinking and acting to improve productivity, innovation, and customer outcomes.

Unfortunately, the past two and one-half years have forced most companies to adjust to continual crises and new challenges, such as:

  • Keeping employees safe from Covid-19
  • Managing a remote or hybrid workforce
  • Overcoming global supply chain shortages
  • Implementing digital technology to improve workflows
  • Dealing with a decades-long labor shortage
  • Retaining best employees during the Great Resignation
  • Figuring out what to do with excess office space

Not to mention that before the pandemic executives had the ongoing struggles figuring out:

  • how to innovate to gain market share and profitability
  • how to recognize a new competitor that will disrupt business
  • how to recognize an opportunity that will open new markets

The truth is that business and culture are both dynamic.

Keeping your employees and organizational culture focused on business strategies and customer outcomes is a moving target. Even within your organization, there are different cultures and multiple dynamics. Your sales organization’s culture will be different from manufacturing which will be different from engineering.

InnovationOne recommends two steps to keep your organization’s culture aligned with its business strategies, innovation focus, and successful customer outcomes:

First – Audit your organization’s culture.

InnovationOne® uses an empirically developed assessment to assess your organization’s culture. It will benchmark it, identify the strengths and opportunities to improve it, and recommend strategies and tactics for doing so. As we pointed out above, organizations with strong organizational cultures are more productive, innovative, and financially successful.

Many organizations use employee satisfaction or employee engagement assessments. These are not the same as an empirically developed assessment of your culture.

Our InnovationOne Culture Index© is like an MRI for your organization’s culture. It assesses your organizational culture across the 12 drivers of innovation that have been identified by more than 25 peer-reviewed academic articles over 20 years. The 12 drivers are shown in the circle chart at the right.

Many employee engagement surveys audit only two of these 12 drivers, such as employee connectivity and empowerment. But culture is so much more. It includes how executives communicate business strategies to employees, changes to the marketplace and relevant technology, and customer wants and needs. It also addresses how executives invite employees to suggest ideas for improvement. And it includes how employees are recognized and rewarded for collaboration and contributing to employee success. It assesses if your organization’s bureaucracy is helpful or a deterrent to organizational success.

Second – Follow up on the recommendations of our cultural assessment.

Knowing is one thing. Acting on it is another. Organizations that act upon our recommendations are taking the necessary steps to align their culture to their business strategies and are moving closer to achieving access. Remember, you can manage what you measure. With the measures we will give you, you can identify derailing issues that will be an obstacle to your goals and determine which goals are doing so well that management can accelerated their implementation.

Measure and inspire the energy of your employees.

Culture is the ultimate performance driver. Every employee in your organization can choose to move your business strategies forward, ignore them, or detract from them. By investing time in objectively assessing your organization’s culture and implementing the recommendations, you will be taking the first two steps in unleashing employee potential, creativity, and energy.

Improve your financial performance by improving your culture. Learn More.

About InnovationOne®, LLC.

InnovationOne®, LLC helps organizations worldwide build a culture of innovation and make it sustainable. InnovationOne® uses a scientifically developed assessment to measure, benchmark, and improve your company’s culture and capability to innovate and enjoy better outcomes and financial results. Companies scoring in the top quartile of our InnovationOne Culture Index© reported higher financial performance than bottom quartile performers by 22 percent. Our latest research shows that R&D Labs can improve their performance by 20 to 30 percent with higher innovation culture scores. Measure and ignite your culture of innovation.