Becoming an Innovation Culture


Was just reading a case discussed by Edgar H. Schein who was at one point helping an organization create an innovative culture as the client management felt the need of flexibility in order to answer to the changing environment. One of the factors keeping the culture from becoming more innovative was the feeling of ownership of the job, the project, the department etc. Most managers and coworkers didn’t want to share knowledge across boundaries and felt that giving other members of the organization information was an inpolite gesture as it would suggest that the other person didn’t already know. And as it was a common presumption that any manager should know anything this insinuation was not welcomed.

Knowledge Management is by far a matter of psychology and motivation and only secondarily a matter of physical conditions and technology. On the other hand the physical environment and a number of tools or technologies can enable members of the organization to share. So two conditions have to be installed: A mental environment – a culture – that allows sharing and a physical – or technological – environment that enables sharing.

Returning to our ongoing conversation about organizational weblogging as a tool for sharing knowledge the thoughts mentioned above are still true: Using the blog as a tool for sharing knowledge is just half of the solution. Helping a sharing culture rise is equally important – and by far the most difficult part of the process. Creating and sustaining a culture of innovation is a multi-facetted leadership challenge that sets demands for physical, technological, communicational and psychological actions.