How many members of your leadership team need to be innovative? GC Partner, Culture Consultancy, have the answer:

If you’re building a culture of innovation, the answer might surprise you. Just 20% of your team need to be game changers. But that 20% cannot succeed on their own. The other 80% of your team should help make those game changing ideas happen and deliver them effectively.

We once worked with an innovation lab in an insurance company that came up with great game changing ideas for new products and services but nothing ever got moved forward. Why? They didn’t have enough people on their team who could develop strategies and implement them. Those brilliant ideas went to waste.

How do you stop that happening in your company? By building a culture of innovation which delivers.

How do you build a culture of innovation?

At Culture Consultancy, we work with clients across a broad spectrum of businesses who want to transform their organisation’s culture to embrace innovation. Business leaders know that having a high-performance culture is key to business success, yet many:

  • struggle to get a grasp of their existing organisational culture;
  • believe it will take a long time to change the culture;
  • fail to justify and demonstrate the return on investment (ROI);
  • don’t know how to approach culture change.

We know that cultural change does not have to take a long time. We also know that every organisation is different and you need to implement the culture which is right for you.

We use our three stage methodology to embed cultures that stick:

  • Insight – we begin by understanding the current culture and the case for change.
  • Design – we define the future culture of the organisation to deliver purpose, vision, and strategy or transformation.
  • Embed – we produce an implementation roadmap and embed it to ensure the culture sticks.

How to develop innovation leadership

A culture of innovation involves the whole company, not just the C-suite. It isn’t about coming up with new inventions, but creating lasting synergies and solutions which solve genuine problems, add real value to the customer and drive growth for the creator. This is what will differentiate your company and turn it into a game changer.

You need innovation leadership at every level of your organisation. The overall strategy and direction requires a guiding force at executive level, but for innovation to permeate the entire organisation you have to appoint innovation champions throughout.

How to spot your game changing innovation champions

Who are the game changers in your organisation? Who should you be promoting? It’s tempting to focus only on the people coming up with ideas, but this is where organisations can miss the talent they already have. Remember, only 20% of your leadership team need to create original ideas. But for those ideas to be executed, you require others who can make sense of the ideas, make them happen and make them brilliant. Everyone can make a game-changing contribution.

We can assess each individual to tell you what their role in the innovation programme should be and how to structure your organisation. We do this using The GC Index. This is a scientific framework which enables individuals, teams and organisations to identify how they make their impact and how they can change the game.

It identifies 5 key roles people are inclined to play in a project or organisation:

  • Game changers find new ways of doing things.
  • Strategists ask why and how things are being done.
  • Play Makers empower others to get the very best from them
  • Implementers make things happen
  • Polishers make sure the job is done well

You can see the roles played by the 80% of people who are not game changers. Each role dovetails with others to play a part in delivery.

Strategists and Game Changers are more ideas focused while Implementers and Polishers are task focused. Play Makers sit in the middle, making use of everyone’s talents to work towards a desired outcome. All of them contribute to your team’s success. And combinations of these five roles determine the kind of leadership team your organisation has out of 10 possible variations.

Strategist BadgeGame Changer Badge

Strategist BadgePolisher Badge

Game Changer BadgePolisher Badge

Implementer BadgePolisher Badge

Play Maker BadgeImplementer Badge

If you have a leadership team dominated by Implementers and Polishers, you will struggle to create new ideas. A combination of Strategists and Game Changers will lead to a Transformational team. Pair Strategists with Polishers and you get an Innovative team while Polishers and Game Changers create an Inventive team. All of these leadership teams can be successful and all have issues they need to manage. Knowing what kind of leadership team you have enables you to see where your strengths lie.

The GC Index enables us to identify change-making talent at all levels and help individuals to maximise their leadership potential, impact within their role and contribution to a team.

How does The GC Index work?

People are assessed for each type of role and given a score out of 10. A score of 1-3 suggests they have little inclination or energy for that type of role. If they are given 4-6 then they might take to it but success is going to depend on discipline rather than job satisfaction. A score of 7-10 suggests they have a natural inclination towards this role and success will depend on experience and the development of role-related skills.

The report is visual, using colour-coded circles for each role. The higher the score, the larger that circle. A visual representation and a report on their personal inclinations is created for each person who takes part. Each person’s scores enable us to judge their aptitude under the following headings:

  • approach to leadership
  • creativity and innovation
  • engaging and influencing
  • getting things done
  • thriving not surviving
  • the power of teamwork

Individuals are encouraged to share their insights from the feedback and implement their own development actions.

An overall report is created for the business. This enables you to see whether you have a good mix of people on your team or many more of one type than others. You can see immediately where to focus on developing your team.

The report also highlights the hidden talent you have. “Jane Doe” might not follow through on details and you notice this. But her profile shows she is a capable strategist who leads with ideas. Those might be qualities which have gone unnoticed.

By using The GC Index we give you a full picture of the talent available to you within your organisation and help you see the roles you need to recruit people into. This is vital for ensuring your organisation has a culture of innovation and delivers on the game-changing ideas it develops.

Using The GC Index to create Cultr 2.0

By using The GC Index in our programmes, we can get faster results. We can see who is best suited to which roles and where teams and whole organisations might lack resources. Our Cultr 2.0 approach combines precision, speed and agility to accelerate your culture change journey.

We use the Culture Consultancy Organisation Culture Assessment™ to provide an understanding of the current culture, including identifying the enablers and inhibitors of current performance. It also provides a baseline measurement for future alignment or change within the organisation.

Competitive advantage and business success can only be delivered by enabling your people to be their best. We create teams that thrive. By using data from The GC IndexⓇ, we organise your leadership for maximum impact and contribution in leading the culture change. You get the right people in the right roles, overnight, for delivering change.

Culture Consultancy place humans at the heart of business success. They ensure organisations embed a culture where company success is paramount while also creating a diverse, inclusive, healthy environment where everyone can grow and be successful. This means focusing on two areas: humans and business.

Humans: People work at different speeds, think and learn in different ways, have different wants, needs and challenges. This is why our 4Es principles are critical to helping everyone feel part of the changes happening in your organisation.

Business: Culture Consultancy ensures every culture change is successful by working with clients to define what success looks like, designing culture, leadership programmes and immersion events that take their mix of employees on the cultural journey and embeds the change so that long term results can not only be seen, but measured.



This article was written by GC Partner, Culture Consultancy, and first published on 18th October 2019.