Creating a cultural climate: how HR can help companies innovate every day

7 minute watch
In today's rapidly changing world businesses need to be able to innovate quickly and effectively in order to stay ahead of the competition. Daniel Strode, head of culture for global bank Banco Santander and author, reveals his top tips for HR to The People Space’s editorial director Siân Harrington

“The fact that companies used to live longer than humans and now companies live, well, just as long as a teenager would live, is quite a shocking statistic,” says Daniel Strode, head of culture for global bank Banco Santander and author of The Culture Advantage – Empowering your people to drive innovation.

And, he adds, this means if we are not changing we're probably not going to be in business. And that's why companies have to innovate every day.

One of the key factors that contributes to innovation is a growth mindset. This is the belief that intelligence and abilities can be developed through effort and practice. Employees with a growth mindset are more likely to take risks, experiment and try new things. They are also more likely to be resilient in the face of setbacks.

HR can play a key role in promoting a growth mindset within an organisation, says Strode. In this video interview he identifies ways that HR can help including:

  1. Provide feedback. Feedback is essential for helping employees develop their skills and abilities. HR can help to ensure that feedback is given in a constructive and supportive way. Feedback should be focused on the future and should offer suggestions for improvement.
  2. Create a culture of psychological safety. Psychological safety is the belief that employees can take risks and be themselves without fear of being punished or ridiculed. HR can help to create a culture of psychological safety by encouraging open communication and by providing employees with opportunities to learn and grow.
  3. Identify and reward role models. Employees learn by watching others. HR can help to promote a growth mindset by identifying and rewarding employees who demonstrate a growth mindset. >

About Daniel Strode

Daniel Strode is head of culture for Banco Santander – a 200,000 strong global bank – where he leads the global effort to implement a strong common culture across the whole workforce. For the past five years his culture work sees him cross 32 different countries globally, implementing “The Santander Way” and embedding the culture across a range of activities.

Dan is also an academic, teaching at universities and business schools around the world including Madrid’s IE Business School in Spain and Bologna Business School in Italy. His main topics of teaching focus on how to create cultures where innovation can thrive, how to lead in the digital era and how to give and receive world class feedback.

In 2023 he released The Culture Advantage – Empowering your people to drive innovation published by Kogan Page.>

Listen to our podcast with Daniel to discover the eight principles related to culture that drive innovation and how to improve psychological safety in the Work’s Not Working… Let’s Fix It! Podcast And sign up to our fortnightly newsletter to access downloadable transcripts of our video interviews.

Published 24 May 2023
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