We often here about well-known and leading edge innovative organisations like Google, Amazon and Apple. Those companies are very open about their relentless focus on innovation and on how to encourage idea generation and development from within.
But then there are all those other companies. The ones who talk a great deal about innovation and about how important it is, but somehow never do anything about innovation apart from designing some long winding innovation processes that will either kill all ideas that come into sight or, if the organisation have got the money, execute all ideas that come into sight - even if those ideas are sure to fail...
Personally I belive that a truly innovative organisation benefits from an innovation agenda and an innovation focus that has been set and communicated top-down, encouraged by top-level openeness to creative thinking. Without this innovation focus at CEO or leadership level an organisation can never become truly innovative and creative.
So, if innovation is important to you and you want to find out if you work for an organisation that's already innovative or at least on the path to becoming innovative, how do you find out? Well, based on my belief in top-management commitment I would suggest that you try to find out what your top-management have got to say about innovation. Do they believe in innovation as a future profit generator? Do they encourage innovative thinking? Do they understand what innovation is all about in your business? Do they know how to drive innovation processes forward in your line of business?
Those are just some of the fundamental questions that you can utilise to understand if your organisation already is or if it is likely to become ahead in the innovation game. Good luck!