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Culture Eats Association Innovation for Breakfast Too

I’m speaking at .orgCommunity’s “Solutions Day” in just a few weeks in Chicago, and I’ll be sharing some exclusive data around this innovation question and how associations are showing up in the data (and dealing with it in real life). You won’t want to miss it! Register here.


I wrote ages ago about the false dichotomy inherent in the phrase that culture “eats strategy” for breakfast (or lunch or whatever). Culture and strategy are really two sides of the same coin, and they fundamentally need to be connected effectively (not eating each other). But the implication of the phrase—that culture is probably having a bigger impact than you realize—is certainly true.

And that implication also holds true when it comes to culture and innovation inside organizations. In today’s age of disruption, everyone’s talking about the need for innovation, but too often it stops right there—at talk.

In our culture assessment, we measure 8 individual Building Blocks within the Culture Marker of Innovation. Several of them measure the overall conceptual approach to innovation inside an organization—areas like creativity, inspiration, and future focus. Most of the rest are a little more brass tacks around innovation—experimentation, risk taking (including the acceptability of failure), and beta testing.

So guess what we’re seeing now that we have a couple years’ worth of data from a variety of industries: we’re more talk than action.

….Read the rest over at

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

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