Climate for innovation: Estée Lauder, Pfizer, Sony + more

markpolson-lgIs corporate culture simply too hard to change?

Enhancing a company’s ability to innovate, argues Mark Polson of Estée Lauder, is “really about creating the right climate. Changing culture takes about ten years. It takes a generation. In some cases, people have to die off before you’re able to change the culture. Climate is much, much easier to change. It’s really about the prevailing conditions and behaviors.” In other words, for movement in the near-term, create mechanisms for people to express ideas and tackle big problems, communication campaigns that spread the word, and incentive and recognition programs that reward them. Polson, left, is vice president of creativity and business innovation at the New York-based maker of skincare, fragrance, and hair care products.

Polson and innovation executives from Sony, Pfizer, and Fisher-Price discussed the challenges of creating the right organizational environment for innovation at the Chief Innovation Officer Summit earlier this month, as part of a panel moderated by Whitney Johnson. Highlights from the session are below, followed by audio.

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