Company Culture & Innovation

May 3, 2023
Catherine Kucharski

Company Culture & Innovation 

Innovation is the lifeblood of any successful company, but it's about more than just having bright ideas. A strong company culture that fosters creativity, collaboration, and risk-taking is what makes a company innovative. Company culture facilities the transitioning of ideas into fruition. It’s more than just the perks included in an EVP. Culture contributes to the way a company communicates across departments, impacting how problem-solving is approached and how leadership operates. Company culture isn’t just about the day-to-day; it's about the bigger picture too. A culture of innovation means being open to new ideas, embracing change, and taking calculated risks. 

Why Innovate? 

By now, companies that don’t prioritize innovation as a top-level business initiative will eventually succumb to competition. 84% of executives believe their future success is very or highly dependent on innovation.  Innovation is the catalyst that propels companies into the forefront of the future, built on problem-solving and creativity. The process involves examining services or products and transitioning them into more efficient solutions. As a result, companies undergo a process of continuous improvement, always striving to remain updated and current. By constantly seeking new and creative solutions to problems, companies stay ahead of the curve and outmaneuver their competitors. Additionally, innovation allows companies to expand into new markets, create new revenue streams, and increase efficiency and productivity. Without innovation, companies won’t have sustainability or longevity and will be overshadowed by innovative competition. 

Company Culture 

Company culture refers to the shared values, beliefs, behaviors, and social practices that an organization upholds. 

When surveying, 98% of entrepreneurs and 84% of job seekers reported that healthy work culture directly affects success. Culture encompasses the overall atmosphere and style of a company. It is shaped by the company's mission, vision, and value, which act as guardrails keeping the company on brand. Company culture affects all employees, from executive assistants to legal teams, which is why it’s so essential companies foster it. Today, it's becoming increasingly common for employees to prefer work-from-home opportunities rather than coming into the office. However, companies can mitigate this trend by creating a positive workplace culture that encourages employees to choose to come into the office. One way to do this is by fostering multiple channels of communication across departments, such as regular team meetings and open-door policies. Another important aspect is creating a comfortable and engaging work environment that employees look forward to coming to each day.  Leadership and management practices play a role in establishing and maintaining a company’s culture. Studies show team leaders have the highest impact on a company's culture, as they set and uphold the standards. Culture includes 

  1. An approach to work-life balance
  2. Communication styles
  3. Decision-making methodology
  4.  Perks or upskilling programs for employees
  5. Pushes for diversity and inclusion

A strong company culture increases employee engagement, job satisfaction, improved performance, and productivity. found companies with a culture that attracts accomplished employees saw a 33% uptick in revenue. When employees enjoy their workplace and feel they have support, they tend to be more productive and perform better in their job. Can you blame them? 

Culture-Driven Innovation 

Overwhelming data highlights the correlation between a company’s threshold for innovation and its overall culture. Innovation isn’t like the Wizard of Oz, just a singular voice behind a curtain, it’s an army of workers all striving for a common goal. Companies with a positive culture nurture the development and acceptance of innovation. 

According to Mckinsey, 70% of digital transformations fail due to employee resistance. Having a team of employees with a disconnect or an entrenchment in orthodoxy is a massive blow to the innovation process. Employees that feel secure in their roles and are armed with a skill set that accommodates innovation respond to a digital transformation significantly better. To foster innovation, companies must do everything they can, including monitoring their culture. When a company engages in innovation, they are venturing into uncharted territory and taking risks. However, if the company's culture supports innovative thinking, the potential benefits could be limitless.

Fostering Innovation with Culture 

Culture and innovation go hand in hand. If you want an innovative company, your culture must follow suit. A culture that empowers employees hires a diverse workforce, enables collaboration, and risk-taking is right in the sweet spot for innovation. When companies provide opportunities for upskilling to their employees, it helps to cultivate a culture that encourages innovation.


Employees that feel their ideas are valued will have the autonomy to take the initiative to innovate. Creating a culture where employees are encouraged to speak up and share their ideas without fear of rejection or retribution is vital. A culture of empowerment also means providing employees with the resources and support they need to turn their ideas into reality.  A large part of empowerment is offering recognition for employees going above and beyond. Only a third of US workers reported receiving weekly recognition; which can negatively impact employee satisfaction and lead to a decline in performance. Empowerment increases employee morale, making employees happier and more secure in their roles and accepting of innovation. 


Having a variety of perspectives and experiences leads to a panoramic view of solutions. 

A company that promotes diversity through recruitment tactics will have employees from different backgrounds and perspectives, generating new ideas and approaches to problem-solving. When people are exposed to different cultures and ways of thinking, they are more inclined to be creative with their own ideas and solutions. A diverse workforce encourages healthy debates that challenge assumptions and prompt employees to think more deeply about problems. Innovation is about revolutionary solutions, and having a diverse workforce creates opportunities for creativity and dynamic solutions. 

Collaboration & Communication

The pyramids weren’t built in a day and weren’t a one-person job; the same principle goes for innovation. Companies that don’t have strong communication pathways built into their culture are vulnerable to misunderstandings and/or misalignment. Active listening between team members is a healthy part of communication as well. Being able to identify areas of improvement and collaborate on solutions leads to innovation. In order to effectively strategize for innovation, it is crucial that all team members are aligned and have a clear understanding of the intended path forward. Companies that implement digital tools and products to enable clear pathways of communication directly impact collaboration across departments and functions. A culture of collaboration means creating an environment where employees feel comfortable sharing their ideas and where constructive criticism is encouraged. 


Innovation is by nature risky, it disrupts established ways of doing things. It’s impossible to foresee if the innovation will be successful, creating opportunities for resistance and pushback from invested stakeholders, making it challenging to gain acceptance for new innovations. A company culture that supports and encourages calculated risks is crucial to foster innovation. This means creating an environment where employees feel comfortable suggesting more unconventional ideas, even if success isn’t 100% guaranteed. Creating an environment where failure is seen as a learning opportunity rather than a setback is critical to an innovative culture. 

Continuous Learning

Just as your company innovates, so does competition. It’s important to arm employees with ways to improve and innovate constantly. This means encouraging employees to stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends and technology and providing them with opportunities for professional development. It also means that your company culture must be evolving as well.  Keeping employees updated with current technological advancements through upskilling is crucial for fostering innovation through culture. The accounting industry, in particular, has experienced a rise in the use of technology in their roles. For instance, there are CPE tools that provide education on crypto assets and auditing tools that use cloud-based computing to automate tasks. By empowering employees with education companies not only improve culture but create a workforce that can harness disruptive technology potential.  Innovative companies clear a pathway for continuous employee professional development and celebrate the wins.


Companies prioritizing innovation as a top-level business initiative are more likely to stay ahead of their competitors. A positive company culture is shaped by the company's mission, vision, and values, and it affects all employees from top to bottom. A company culture that drives innovation creates an environment that supports experimentation, risk-taking, and continuous learning. An alignment of the company's culture with its innovation goals creates a virtuous cycle of growth and success that benefits both the company and its employees. 

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