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Sunday, 16 November 2014 15:31

Companies that embed innovation into corporate culture see results, Plante Moran study finds

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Organizations that credit innovation with driving sales higher over the last few years often embed it into their culture and structure.

That’s according to Plante Moran PLLC’s annual look at innovation.

The findings among “elite innovators” – or companies that have grown sales by 30 percent in the last few years due to innovation – affirm the connection between innovation and corporate culture, according to the accounting and consulting firm.

“The connection between culture and innovation is one Plante Moran has subscribed to for decades. This year’s Innovation Survey findings provide data-driven affirmation,” said Rich Antonini, regional managing partner for West Michigan at Plante Moran’s Grand Rapids office.

Of the more than 400 private and public sector respondents in the Midwest to the Southfield-based firm’s fourth annual innovation survey, 96 percent of “elite” organizations said they value innovation in the workplace and see “innovation as an integral part of their organizational strategy.” All of them believe their employees “feel encouraged to come forward with new ideas.”

Just 46 percent of the respondents that do not meet the “elite” definition value innovation and 71 percent of those organizations said their workers feel they can bring new ideas to management.

“(A) strong, positive culture is paramount for successful innovation and increased revenue. Why? Because culture is key for supporting one of the main drivers of innovation: employees,” states a report on the 2014 survey results. “In contrast, non-elite survey respondents reported overall that the customer was the number one driver of innovation.

“Elite organizations acknowledge that the customer is an important factor. However, they drive their innovation forward with a strong focus on corporate strategy and their employees.”

The most innovative companies also put their money into it.

Six out of 10 have a formal research and development line item in their budgets dedicated to innovation, and 42 percent provide employees incentives, whether monetary or recognition, for their new ideas. Just 13 percent of respondents deemed non-elite had an incentive program.

Companies with the most innovative cultures have “a ‘free-range office mentality’ with open-door policies and accessible executives, and where no idea is dismissed, creates a space of trust and a safe environment for people to take the risks that innovation requires,” according to Plante Moran.

Read 3761 times Last modified on Saturday, 15 November 2014 17:50

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