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How Innovative is Your Organization ?

How would you assess the ability of innovation in your organization relative to –

  1. the history of the business ?
  2. direct competitors ?
  3. organizations in adjacent businesses or industries ?
  4. technology centric organizations ?
  5. meaningfully improving outcomes  –  in the short term (< 2 years) ?   In the mid-term (3 to 4 years) ?  In the longer term  (5 + years) ?

Staying on top is about more than just beating the competition.  It is about continuously moving forward to influence and shape the future.

Innovation drives economic growth. The most innovative companies understand the importance of developing solutions that solve critical problems.

There are several traits that promote innovation. Knowing which ones your organization possesses will help you build on the strengths and mitigate issues with weaknesses.

Characteristics of Innovative Organizations

Developing the Mindset, Competencies, and Culture to Innovate for Impact are essential to win – especially with new digital services having high appeal in an on-line, real-time, all-the-time world with increasing business demands and high User expectations. Because of this, having strong look ahead as well being agile and adapt, the ability to scale and monetize value creation, and being very results oriented  –  are a few of the important qualities needed to make innovation more rewarding and better position the organization for success. Extending on these attributes, it’s important understand the following –

Risk Tolerance

As an organization leader, you know the risk that comes with creativity. When determining the likelihood an idea will be successful, you need to consider it from all perspectives. Assessing this risk leads to new discoveries and well-thought-out decisions.


Organization leaders should always be open to new ideas. Though not all of them will be adopted, they should at least be considered.

Encourage team members to share ideas. Explore these ideas even if they seem radical. Sometimes the most unlikely candidates become the most successful innovations.

Showing an openness to new ideas promotes a positive innovation culture. Innovation statistics reveal companies who develop business and innovation strategies are expected to grow 30% faster than companies who do not. Openness inspires others to share ideas and become fully involved in the innovation process.


Organization leaders should perform all job duties with confidence. Regular change means constantly exploring the unknown. Though new territories can cause anxiety, remaining confident is crucial to identifying new opportunities.

Action Oriented

Innovative organizations are led by action-oriented people. These leaders willingly become involved in the action. They actively participate in all innovation efforts and encourage team members to share ideas.

Action is exciting to these leaders. They thrive on change that results in innovation. Their overall goal is to improve the organization.


Innovation should come from everyone in the organization. Encourage all employees to collaborate. Look outside the company for ideas and keep an open mind about how to implement them.

Appoint an innovation leader to foster collaboration and encourage open conversations. This ensures ideas are shared regularly.

Observe and Know How to Effect Change

Observe what is happening in your organization. Pay attention to patterns and details. This will help you identify problems and opportunities, find solutions, etc.

Take the innovation survey to find out if your company possesses these six traits.

To make innovation more rewarding, you’re welcome to contact CAIL.                          800-668-5769 / 905-940-9000                  


Aug 13, 2021        CAIL Innovation commentary