Did you know that Kingdom culture is what stimulates entrepreneurship and innovation? Heaven is THE most innovative and creative place in the universe. It makes sense then, that if you build true Kingdom culture on earth in your organization or environment, then creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship will follow.

Recently I went to a local presentation (thanks to the Shasta Economic Development Corporation) by Gigi Wang on the Entrepreneurship Culture of Silicon Valley. Gigi is a leader in global entrepreneurship and innovation, currently serving as a Board Member and Chair Emeritus of the MITEF/Stanford Venture Lab (VLAB). She was talking on what elements of culture stimulate entrepreneurship and innovation. As she spoke, Jack Burgess did a graphic presentation – below:

Jack Burgess Graphic Facilitator

by Jack Burgess, Graphic Facilitator

So what elements of culture did Gigi say are critical to foster an environment of creativity and increase?

1. Trust

Trust begins with transparency and openness. It involves the sharing of ideas. How open are you and your organization to being asked any question of those who you lead?

Practice Sharing information with each other.

Must be mutual.

2. Risk taking

Go where others have not. Do something different.

Go beyond your comfort zone.

Interact with new people. Travel to new places. Cultural tourism. Go somewhere that is less developed than you. In doing so realize what you have and how you may be able to leverage that to help others.

Failure provides good experience. Failure results in valuable experience and knowledge.  Investors like to know you tried and failed and had another go.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Thomas Edison on developing the light bulb.

3. Collaboration/networking

Share ideas. Work on problems together. Even competitors.

Networking in environments of openness.

Thinking: We are not fighting over who has the biggest piece of the pie; we are growing the pie together.

4. Integrity

Must come from inside out.

Not just about being honest. Relationship integrity. Not win:lose but win:win:win. People. Planet. Profit. Customer. Shareholder and employee.

5. Accessibility

Access to leaders with experience and brainpower is key to building a culture of innovation.

Budding entrepreneurs: test your level of access. Go to events. Talk to strangers. Take risk. Introduce yourself. Check out the In-mail feature via LinkedIn: you can contact ANYONE (they just choose if they repond).

Successful entrepeurs: Make yourself available to help others. Give something back.

6. Constructive Feedback

LISTEN and LEARN. First listen and hear what they are saying. Don’t get defensive.

Constructive not negative. If you are doing it to make others feel less powerful don’t do it!

The goal of feedback is to connect and learn. It empowers both the giver AND the receiver. Keep the goal in mind.

7. Empowerment

Empower everyone on the team. Not all the good ideas need to come from you.

Innovation from top is orderly; innovation from the bottom is chaotic but or induces mega-success. For example Google Adwords was invented by an engineer.

Leaders provide inspiration and direction not orders.

8. Share the wealth

Share share share.

Equitable pay. Travel guidelines. Perks.

Stock option with employees. With advisors. Encourage buy-in and ownership so that EVERYONE becomes a stakeholder. For example,  when Ascend Communications (now Alcatel) was sold for $21B, even the secretaries became millionaires.

9. Jealousy (and lack thereof) (Comparison)

Instead of being jealous leverage opportunity to have relationship with someone more successful.

Celebrate success.  Appreciate those that helped your success. Leverage your success to help others.

Send your people to events. Learn. Connect. Provide opportunities for whole team to collaborate.

It’s not what you learn; it’s how fast you learn. Find your learning style. Include a third party in your meetings to learn a different perspective. Take someone with you who will also ask questions.

So, HOW do you change  the culture?

1. Awareness

Rate yourself on the above nine culture keys from 1-10 where 1 is “I need HELP with this” and 10 is “I role model this.” What if you gave the list to some of your colleagues and asked them to rate you? How does that compare to how you rated yourself?

What if you did this for your organization?

2. Start with yourself

What is one area you want to work on first? It may not be the lowest, but something that you feel most motivated to do something about right now. How do you need to think differently about yourself, others and success, in order to change?

3. Model change

What is one thing you could do differently to model the change? How could you keep yourself accountable? Who could you talk to about this and model this together?