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Why innovation should be a cultural imperative at your workplace

Disruption is the new normal, and organisations need to adapt, innovate, co-create to stay relevant and grow


The ability to think is an intrinsic ingredient for innovation. IBM founder Thomas J Watson Sr. once said, “All the problems of the world could be settled easily if men were only willing to think.”

These are the famous words of ‘The THINK’ motto that came into being (in 1911) when one morning at a sales meeting, Watson Sr’s manager didn’t have any good ideas to share on how to improve business growth. “The trouble with every one of us is that we don’t think enough. Knowledge is the result of thought, and thought is the keynote of success in this business or any business,” he told them…and the rest is history. From that day on, he decided that ‘THINK’ would be the company’s slogan. More than a century later, the slogan remains unchanged and the legacy of innovation lives on. These innovations put a man on the moon and taught machines to debate humans.

The latest finding of the Boston Consulting Group’s study on the 50 Most Innovative Companies list states that innovation is amongst the top-three management priorities for almost two-thirds of companies today, and innovative leaders are remarkably alike regardless of the size of the business. You will find that they align innovation with business goals, build structures that enable innovation, and create a culture that fosters innovation to thrive.

For organisations, innovation correlates with value creation and competitiveness. Hence it is necessary for innovation to become a cultural imperative in a world where digital adoption is on an unparalleled rise. Innovation cannot be an ad-hoc activity; it has to be a systematic approach that is central to all business activities, whether it is hiring diverse teams or designing recognition programs.

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