Is Innovation Part of Your Organization’s DNA?

Retailing, as many other sectors, has experienced arduous times since the hit of the global financial crisis. Despite this state, several retail firms have more than doubled their sales during the same period. What are they doing differently and how are they tackling the market uncertainties? The key: comprising innovation into the organization’s DNA.

After interviewing the founders and current CEOs of four successful retail firms, Tim Kastelle found a common denominator: Passion for what they do, and innovation deeply embedded in their DNA. These traits were expressed by:

  • A strong culture of experimentation.  Experimenting is key to innovating effectively.  All firms are great at this – having an idea, and trying it to see if it works.  If it does, they scale it. They are also based on a strong learning culture that allows them to learn from the ones that fail.
  • A passion that is driven by a shared purpose. All four CEOs expressed the clear commitment to best serve their customers, but more importantly, everyone within their team shared the drive.

  • Empowered people.  Empowerment is closely related to both a culture of experimentation and passion but is nonetheless distinct – even if people have a shared purpose, and the organisation has a culture of learning, you can still kill innovation if there is no autonomy. To benefit from purpose and experiments, everyone needs to feel they are allowed to test out ideas.

So what makes the successful retail shops different?  Passion.  Purpose. Experiments.

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