Do you know how important it is for your business to build an innovation culture? In the digital age, the ability to innovate is not just an asset, but a necessity for the long-term survival and success of a company. However, fostering innovation means more than just relying on your employees’ mindset and skills. It necessitates building a culture that embraces change and supports those who aren’t afraid to explore and experiment with new ideas. Read on.


In the era of digitalization, an innovation culture is an indispensable part of any company’s strategy. Innovating allows organizations to adapt to a rapidly changing business environment and maintain a competitive edge.

A good example here can be Brainly, a Polish company, which, in the world of e-education, has gained a strong position in the international market by consistently executing innovative projects. Another example is IFIRMA, which offers comprehensive and innovative solutions for small and medium-sized enterprises in the field of accounting, invoicing, and online document management.

What is an innovation culture?

An innovation culture encompasses the values, beliefs, and behaviors of both employees and organizations, creating an environment that encourages the generation and implementation of new ideas, products, and services. In a digital company, cultivating an innovation culture becomes even more important as it is based on:

  • openness,
  • collaboration,
  • creativity,
  • continuous improvement.

Companies that have the strongest innovation culture are able to adapt to the changing environment, take advantage of new technologies and meet customer needs, just like Nokia, Google, Apple, and Netflix.

An innovation culture doesn’t develop on its own but must be supported and shaped by leaders and employees within an organization. Both the physical environment, which fosters creativity and collaboration, and management processes that facilitate the testing and implementation of new ideas, are important.

The benefits of an innovation culture

Investing in an innovative culture brings many benefits. The most important are:

  • gaining a competitive advantage – introducing innovations can provide a competitive edge to a company. Samsung, for instance, continuously incorporates innovative technologies into their products, which makes them a leader in the consumer electronics market.
  • adapting to market shifts easily – for example, LEGO, uses its LEGO Ideas platform to collect ideas from the public, helping them to create sets that stay abreast with the latest trends in popular culture.
  • increasing customer satisfaction – for instance, General Electronics, through its FirstBuild initiative, works with customers and the community at the product development stage, which allows them to better understand and meet user expectations.
  • improving organizational efficiency – innovation can help improve business and operational processes, leading to greater efficiency. In this way, NASA is using open innovation initiatives to collect data on asteroids, landslides, interstellar dust, and more for their research.
  • attracting and retaining top talent – innovative companies are simply more attractive to talented employees who want to work in an environment that values creativity and a pioneering approach to problem-solving. Samsung, for example, set up an incubation program for its employees that allows them to explore and develop innovative ideas without the risk of losing their jobs.

How to set and promote innovative values in an organization?

Introducing an innovation culture involves promoting openness to new ideas and experiments, which in practice means encouraging employees to “think outside the box” and try out new solutions. An interesting example here can be Google, which allows its employees to spend 20% of their working time on their own projects.

Another step is to develop communication and teamwork skills. At Spotify, for example, teams are independent and take full responsibility for the projects they run. This necessitates developing effective communication and collaboration skills.

An equally important aspect of promoting innovation within an organization is encouraging self-improvement and the development of competencies, which may involve organizing:

  • training,
  • workshops,
  • conferences, and
  • online courses.

Also, leaders play a key role in shaping an innovation culture. They should:

  • be open to new ideas and respond to changes proactively,
  • create conditions for collaboration and knowledge exchange,
  • promote values to bolster innovation in everyday practices.

They ought to emphasize the importance of innovation and creative thinking in their organization, both in meetings and in daily interactions with the team. For example, hold regular team meetings or workshops with experts where team members can share their knowledge and ideas.

Fostering innovation in the workplace

Creating a work environment that stimulates innovation requires: