Creating A Culture of Innovation

What makes a company great? Any company that succeeds in growing annual revenue, scaling up the corporate ladder, or giving back to their community is considered a good company. There is no doubt about that. But what distinguishes the good from the great? A great company is a place where every individual sees an opportunity for growth. They see an inspiring environment that is filled with creative, like-minded people who can come together to produce an incredible product or deliver a one of a kind service.

In a recent interview by Inc., PepsiCo chief marketing officer revealed what it is that makes their marketing team stand out:

“We've created PepsiCo Fast Pitch. We have internal teams that are coming up with ideas focused on driving sales, content creating or developing new revenue streams, and they're pitching them to us, and we'll decide if we're going to fund this idea. They get together with a team of people who are passionate, and if they can sell us on the idea, we'll give them the resources. It's a lot like Shark Tank. This keeps agility, entrepreneurial spirit, and experimentation. But the culture also empowers individuals.”

Not every company has the resources to put together an internal Shark Tank, but every company should make it a priority to empower their team with opportunities for creativity and innovation. For some companies, creating a culture of innovation is as simple as celebrating diversity within the team. Not just diversity in race and gender, but truly celebrating backgrounds and skillsets. This means taking the time to recognize small moments of helping each other and appreciating everyone’s wacky quirks. It is important to bring together each sector: sales with marketing, design with customer service, and most importantly listen to what each person can contribute to the company as a whole.

In the design industry, we are lucky enough to lay claim on the design thinking strategy. All industries are now looking at our way of solving problems and considering issues in a new way. The theory is deeply rooted in backward-design and COLLABORATION, but how often do we sit our team down to discuss solving the problems? Whether it is a weekly 30-minute meeting, or bi-annual hack-a-thon in the community, taking the time to brainstorm as a team is essential to creating a culture of innovation. If you cannot find the physical time or space to get together, create a “think box” in your slack channel where everyone can share ideas openly. Other virtual outlets may be a Google Classroom where you can present polls and pose questions. It's important to give every member of your team the opportunity to share their ideas. 

When you are looking to shape your culture, think about your vision and values. If your company values family, what are you doing to bring the family into the business? If your value is simplicity, then why is professional development so structured? At A Design Partnership, we value quality and our partnerships. That’s why we invite YOU, our partners, to let us know what we can do to bring you quality content. If you're looking to build a new partnership, email Zack at