Survey Questions: Is Your Company Getting More — or Less — Supportive of Innovation?

At several recent in-person gatherings, executives have discussed with us the surveys they have used to conduct quarterly or annual “check-ins” on the innovation culture at their companies.

We’ve collected questions from them that may be helpful if you’re considering fielding a survey. We definitely don’t suggest using all of the questions below in one survey, since shorter surveys will yield more (and more thoughtful) responses. Choose the questions that are most relevant to things you’re trying to impact.

On how often to field a culture survey, one executive at a major IT services firm says, “An annual survey is way too long a time frame. If you start some innovation activities in January and by the time you get any feedback, it is next March (annual surveys become a huge exercise when HR is involved and take months to tabulate), then it’s too late to do anything — 15 months have passed! Better to design something that can be quickly measured every quarter so you can make meaningful changes in a timeframe that matters.”

The executives with whom we’ve spoken suggest that a regular survey for employees and managers throughout the organization is essential to understanding whether your work is having a broad, positive impact on the overall culture; whether you’re in neutral; or whether things are getting worse along some dimensions.

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