Cris Beswick on building a culture of innovation | Forward Thinkers

9 minute watch
Innovation is fundamentally about the pursuit of ‘better’, says author and co-founder of Outcome Cris Beswick. In this video he talks to The People Space’s editorial director Siân Harrington about defining innovation in today’s organisations, what innovation means for different functions and how to develop a culture of innovation

Is your innovation programme working? Chances are that it is not, says Cris Beswick, author of Building a Culture of Innovation and co-founder of innovation specialist Outcome.

For in his experience leaders are misunderstanding what innovation comprises – often confusing digital transformation strategies, for example, with innovation.

True innovation solves complex challenges for every part of an organisation – HR, like sales, like efficiency, logistics. Innovation is a capability,  not a department.

Yet leaders are failing to understand that innovation drives and enables every part of an organisation, not just R&D or new product development, says Cris.

“The leadership development that I see senior execs being put on is still teaching them how to lead the business of yesterday and it's not teaching them how to shape the future. And that saddens me because in the components that innovation requires – and a culture of innovation requires – leadership is arguably one of, if not the, key component.

“We have to teach leaders not how to become innovation leaders: it's not about them being innovators per se. We have to teach leaders how to lead for innovation.” This is about “turning up the volume on purpose and turning up the volume on creativity, Beswick says.  

“Innovation is fundamentally about the pursuit of better. Better businesses, better business models, better leadership. We have problems and opportunities. Innovation is the conduit that gets us from there's a problem to there's a better solution.”

In this video interview Beswick explains what innovation is, examines why purpose is so important to innovation and offers his tips for creating an innovation culture.

About Cris Beswick

Cris Beswick is a leading thinker and strategic advisor on innovation leadership and culture and a pioneer in the field of measuring corporate innovation maturity. He’s the co-founder of innovation advisory firm Outcome and best-selling author of Building a culture of Innovation.

Published 14 September 2022
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