Developing a Company Culture of Innovation

By Ricardo Roman of Caliper. Caliper is a human capital analytics company leveraging decades of data and validated assessment results to predict and select high-quality candidates and is a TMSA Affiliate member.

Technological advances have forced businesses to adapt and reinvent on the fly in recent years. Continuous innovation is not an option; it’s a necessity.

Being adaptable and open to change are essential aspects of any successful organization’s culture nowadays. However, that’s not enough. Business leaders must foster a culture of innovation to drive real success. In other words, you need to lead change instead of chasing it.

But how do you get there? Anyone can say, “We’re innovative,” but those are empty words if you don’t have the people on your team to realize the promise of innovation and creativity. The answer is performance competencies, which compare an individual’s intrinsic motivations to the behaviors that equate to strong job performance. By exploring the competencies of your existing team members, you can both identify hidden potential and uncover the talent gaps holding your organization back.

These are the key performance competencies that point to leadership in innovation:

  • Analytical Thinking – The capability to identify and synthesize information from diverse sources by looking for patterns in data, making connections between seemingly unrelated events, and understanding how different parts of a system are interdependent

  • Creativity and Innovation – Showing divergent thinking and the propensity to question existing practices; challenge commonly held assumptions; originate new or radical alternatives to traditional methods, processes, and products; and build on others’ ideas

  • Information Seeking – Displaying an underlying curiosity and desire to know more about things, people, or issues; people strong in this competency go beyond routine questions and dig for exact information, to understand the dynamics at play in a business situation

  • Initiating Action – This competency suggests the drive to take a leading role in improving or enhancing a product or service while developing entrepreneurial opportunities and avoiding problems. Those who initiate action often demonstrate a positive attitude toward getting things done and seek additional responsibilities beyond the scope of their formal job description

  • Learning Agility – The capacity to discern patterns in data, recognize relationships between concepts, and apply learning from one context to solve analogous problems in other contexts

  • Strategic Thinking – The capability to develop and help drive a shared understanding of a long-term vision that describes how the organization needs to operate now and in the future

These scientifically validated competencies are based upon years of research into – and data analysis of – intrinsic personality traits as they relate to job performance. Ultimately, people who demonstrate these competencies are much more likely to be innovators than those who do not show them. If you truly want your company to be a creative leader in your industry, you have to examine your organizational “bench strength” and start filling in the gaps with those capable of innovating.

Changing a company culture is not something you can accomplish with words alone. It takes time and effort to move the needle, and the best place to start is by measuring people’s performance competencies.

To learn more about Caliper and special discounts to TMSA members, visit

To learn more about enhancing company culture, and how to develop your leaders to embrace innovation, visit or email [email protected].

Caliper is a human capital analytics company leveraging decades of data and validated assessment results to predict and select high-quality candidates. Caliper partners with all types of organizations, industries, and sectors – from Fortune 500 companies to small businesses and from government agencies to non-profits. We help companies reduce the risk of bad hiring decisions; build high-performing teams; and engage, develop, and retain their employees. Contact us to learn more.

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