This quarter of Academy was all about how to build a culture that fosters innovation.
What are the main factors that impact an innovative culture?
- A culture based on trust instead of fear
- A strategic commitment to innovation
- Shared language for innovation across all levels of the organization
- The space and resources for all employees to engage in collaboration, creativity, and risk-taking
Cultural transformations take time and a lot of work. They do not happen overnight. Academy helped give teams a foundation to build an innovative culture by taking them on a tour of one of the corridor’s best cultures, teaching them a model for designing a culture of innovation, and helping cohort members understand what makes a good idea succeed.
Both cohorts toured MediRevv, a Coralville company consistently ranked as one of the corridor’s best places to work. Cohorts got a full tour of MediRevv’s offices, and had a lunch and learn with MediRevv team members to hear how the company built its positive culture.
The Flame: A Leadership Model to Design and Diagnose a Culture of Innovation
The flame model helps us understand what’s lying beneath the surface or what may be driving decisions. Before an organization creates new policies, procedures, or takes action, they need to make sure what they’re doing is aligned with who they want to be as a company and how they wish to be perceived in their industry.
- Better understand internal communications and make more informed decisions
- Diagnose the current state of your culture
- Design the culture you want to create with a plan to articulate to your employees and community
- Shift attention from actions and structure to identity and tone, the inner two aspects of the flame
Collective Intelligence Tools: Innovative Behaviors and Mindset
It’s easy to talk about innovation, but harder to model innovative behaviors. Establishing the right behaviors, language, and mentality across your teams will help increase accountability and trust across your organization. These tools work on softer skills and require a commitment to personal mastery and reflection from everyone.
- Develop a broader understanding of innovative thinking, behaviors, and language
- Apply innovative tools in your everyday thinking
- Learn and practice collective intelligence tools that can be taken back to strengthen your teams
- Understand what makes good ideas succeed
The Medium of Growth: How Team Culture Impacts Innovative Thinking
Christina Farell and Scott Dix led the cohorts in a workshop filled with dancing, games, funny hand gestures and serious lessons about building a positive organizational culture. At its root, culture is the medium in which things grow…or wither and die. By exploring tangible and intangible complexities that impact the way we think and work, your team will learn to optimize its environment to create fertile ground for innovation.
- Understand how culture impacts individual and corporate innovation
- Identify and interact with the key elements of culture
- Develop a strategy to strengthen the culture of your team and improve innovative thinking
Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team™ with Gale Mote
Working cohesively in a team environment is fundamental to agile and developing a culture of innovation. Teamwork, however, is not a virtue. It is a choice. The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team™ include vulnerability based trust, the ability to engage in constructive, productive conflict, creating clarity and commitment for decisions and actions, demonstrating peer-to-peer accountability for behaviors and results and an unrelenting focus on the collective results of the team. Gale Mote led the cohorts in a joint session of the powerful workshop.
- Demonstrate practical techniques for building vulnerability based trust in a team
- Practice engaging in productive conflict, eliminating the “meeting after the meeting” and testing for buy-in
- Engage in peer-to-peer accountability conversations
- Explore an “outward mindset” to help team members see beyond themselves and focus on the collective results of the team
Takeaways from the Culture Competency
Teams spent the Culture quarter learning the main factors that impact an innovative culture. Innovation thrives within a culture that embraces experimentation, moves quickly, and shares lessons learned.
In the upcoming quarter, the cohorts will focus on Strategy, and hear from guest speakers such as Aaron Proietti, Eric Engelmann, and Stacy Van Gorp.
SAVE THE DATE: The inaugural cohort will graduate April 12 at Big Grove Brewery in Iowa City. More details coming soon!