Innovation Force 2010

RISE CREATIVE MASSES
The of the
Transforming the Workforce into an Innovation Force

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Published by Innovation Inside. February, 2010

2 The Rise of the Creative Masses

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Content
Content ......................................................................................................3 Executive Summary ..................................................................................4
The rise of the creative masses ....................................................................4 How well are the Nordic workplaces designed for innovation? ...............................5 The Nordic innovation stars .........................................................................7 Private and public sectors share the innovation agenda .......................................9

The Innovative Workplace.......................................................................11 Nordic Innovation Excellence
................................................................13 Few feel innovative in the workplace ............................................................14 Measuring the Nordic innovation forces ........................................................15 Sweden is the leading Nordic innovation force .................................................17 Innovation thrives in small workplaces .........................................................19 Entrepreneurs lead innovation ....................................................................21 Private and public sectors share the innovation agenda ......................................23

The Innovation Force Index.....................................................................26 Nordic Innovation Forces ........................................................................29
1. The Individual.....................................................................................29 Work satisfaction............................................................................................................29 Work mood.....................................................................................................................30 Work influence................................................................................................................31 Work empowerment .......................................................................................................32 2. The Organization .................................................................................33 Openness........................................................................................................................34 Culture ............................................................................................................................35 Bureaucracy....................................................................................................................37 Evaluation .......................................................................................................................38 3. The initiative ......................................................................................39 Creativity drive................................................................................................................39 Creative ability ................................................................................................................41 Ideas...............................................................................................................................42 4. The Management.................................................................................43 Management attentiveness .............................................................................................44 Idea delivery ...................................................................................................................45 Feedback.........................................................................................................................46 Idea usage ......................................................................................................................47 5. The Processes ....................................................................................49 Methods .......................................................................................................................50 Cooperation ....................................................................................................................51 External involvement ......................................................................................................52

About the Survey

....................................................................................54

The Nordic consumer panels ...............................................................................................54

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Executive Summary
The key to prosperity and jobs in the future lies in the ability of countries, companies, and people to create and innovate. The challenge is how to achieve such growth – how to enhance the ability to think creatively, to generate ideas, and to turn the ideas into new solutions and products. The workplace is the epicenter of creativity and innovation in all economies. This is where new knowledge and new ideas are transformed into new products and solutions, creating new growth and new jobs. Consequently, a key to success in the 2010’s is to design workplaces that foster creativity and produce innovation. This is the single most important leadership challenge of the new decade. According to a survey with 6,003 representative respondents in the workforce in Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark – conducted by Userneeds for Innovation Inside, most Nordic business managers – in the private sector as well as the public – are well aware of the need for innovation. Asked whether they believe it to be important to be creative and innovative in their job, no less than 71 pct. of the Swedish business leaders say “very important”. An impressive number by any account. The mindset among the business leaders is important, since the challenge of creating an innovative workplace first and foremost is the responsibility of the leaders in the workplace. Few others have the power and means to supply a working environment with the tools and opportunities that enables and mobilizes the innovative potential of everyone, turning the workforce into a real innovation force. Not all the Nordic countries, however, have leaders with the same strong conviction of the need for being creative and innovative, as the Swedes. While 63 pct. of the Danish business leaders think it very important, agreeing with the thinking of their Swedish colleagues, only 44 pct. of the Norwegian and 41 pct. of the Finnish business leaders think creativity and innovation is very important.

The rise of the creative masses
While it might be predictable that business managers have a keen understanding of the importance of being innovative, it may be more surprising that the Nordic employees to a large extent share the view. Asked the same question about the need to be creative and innovative on the job, 53 pct. of the Swedish employees – more than half of the workforce in the country – say

4 The Rise of the Creative Masses

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it is “very important”. Denmark trails somewhat with 44 pct., while in Norway only 24 pct. think it is very important to be creative and innovative, and in Finland only 21 pct. - less than half as many as in Sweden, but still one in five of the total workforce. In spite of the national variations, the Nordic leaders and employees share a strong common understanding that competition today is more about smart ideas than long hours – although one doesn’t rule out the other. The large number of people believing creativity and innovation are very important on the job suggests a broad shift in the mindset of the working population away from the dutiful compliance of given tasks - striving for efficiency, a characteristic of the industrial age, towards an individual responsibility in producing ideas. This signals a rise of the creative masses, rather than the rise of a creative class.

How well are the Nordic workplaces designed for innovation?"
While the Nordic countries seem to have a vast potential for ideas and innovation that may be turned into competitive advantages and create new wealth and new jobs in the global economy, it is by no means a given fact that this actually will happen. A supportive mindset may be a necessary prerequisite, but innovation depends not on intent alone. It needs the support from innovative workplace practices and processes. When asked not just about the importance of being creative and innovative on their jobs, but if they actually are creative and innovative, the percentages drop dramatically all over. Only 34 pct. of the Swedish leaders and 23 pct. of the Swedish em-

Figure 1

The Innovative Gap
How important is it to be creative and innovative in your job?
% 75

How creative and innovative are you in your job?
Response: "Very much"

Response: "Very important"

59 49 42 32 27 25 20 13 12 26 18

50

0

Denmark
Data: Source: INNOVATIONinside and Userneeds

Sweden

Norway

Finland

All countries - mean

6.003 employed respondants in the Nordic countries

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ployees say “very much”. That’s less than half of the number that believe it is very important in their jobs. Looking at all the respondents in all the Nordic countries, 42 pct. find it very important to be creative and innovative in their job, whereas only 18 pct. say they are very creative and innovative. And when asked how often they get work-related ideas, only 14 pct. reply “very often”. There is a vast divide between what is perceived as important to master at the workplace and what is actually performed. There is a divide between intention and action. This has several important implications:

• •

On the positive side, the Nordic workforces have a vast untapped potential to be creative and innovative – the necessity is broadly understood, although the actual performance doesn’t match up. On the negative side the Nordic workforces seemingly lack the ability to be the innovation force that is needed today.

The divide between innovation intent and innovation performance also suggests that millions of people underperform in the job today. This is not just a story about lost economic potential, but also of personal frustration, being exposed to and embedded in a workplace which does not provide the means and opportunities necessary to do what one really thinks one should do. It is a well-documented fact that the level of creativity and the ability to innovate very much depends on how the workplace is designed and managed.1 Creativity and the ideas it fosters thrive in a workplace where the individual is motivated, empowered, recognized, and happy. Innovation thrives in a workplace with clear goals, transparent and widely understood processes, receptive and open management, pro-innovation culture, open to external ideas, and clear performance indicators. The difference between what managers as well as employees perceive to be needed and what they perceive to be reality when it comes to creativity and innovation in the job, implies that most workplaces are not well designed and managed to foster an innovation force. Some indications:


1

Only 12 pct. say that the management is very receptive to criticism to improve existing working processes and products. As management very often is the first

”The Innovation Elite”, Monday Morning, 2006

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• •

• •

“gate keeper” for innovation initiatives, this indicates a severe barrier to ideas that improve existing products and processes Only 13 pct. say that everybody in their workplace strongly supports innovation, indicating a weak innovation culture, where neither mindset nor values support new ideas and initiatives Only 16 pct. say that management always listens to their ideas – and when they do, only 21 pct. always get feedback on their ideas, indicating that many are left with the impression that their creative effort has little value or is not recognized Only 8 pct. say that there are very clear processes for how to work with new ideas, indicating that seeing innovation through is a struggle – or a game played by a selected few Only 9 pct. say that customers and suppliers are involved to a high degree in the innovation processes, indicating a workplace closed to ideas and knowledge from the outside.

Although creativity and innovation is a priority in many workplaces, most workplaces by far lag in implementing the necessary conditions and environment, when compared to the perceived necessity. Consequently, much needs to be done in order to create Nordic workplaces that truly mobilize the creativity of the masses and develop the innovation force that is needed to succeed in the global competition of the 2010’s.

The Nordic innovation stars
There are significant differences between the Nordic workplaces when it comes to mobilizing the creativity and innovative capacity.

Innovative countries. Sweden comes across as the leading innovation force of

the Nordic countries, closely trailed by Denmark and Norway, while Finland lags quite far behind the others. The Swedes in particular excel in innovative intent. The motivation to be creative and innovative is by a wide margin the highest among the Nordic countries. When it comes to the process of turning the ideas into innovations, the margin is smaller, but still the Swedes have more clarity in the workplace about what to do with their ideas and how to develop them, than their neighbors. No doubt, Sweden has taken more steps toward building the innovative workplace, or the innovation force of tomorrow, than the other Nordic countries.

Innovative workplaces. Creativity and innovation thrives in small workplaces.

In all Nordic countries, larger companies have greater difficulties in making ideas flourish and innovation processes excel. Overall in the Nordic countries, 51 pct. of the workforce in small companies find it very important to be creative

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Figure 2

Nordic Innovation Force Index 2010
Total score
Sweden Denmark Norway Finland
0 100 200 300 311 400 500 410 441 438

Mean scores by parameter and country
Denmark Norway Sweden Finland
18 31 29 34

Individual
Expresses degree of job satisfaction and influence on the job

Organization
Expresses extent that culture supports innovation, learning and adaptability

Sweden Norway Denmark Finland
13 12 11

16

Initiative
Expresses degree of innovative intent, innovation competencies and idea production

Sweden Denmark Norway Finland
15 20 29

35

Management
Expresses how well ideas are received and handled

Norway Denmark Sweden Finland
27 27 25

30

Processes
Expresses level of internal cooporation, external involvement and use of tools

Denmark Norway Finland Sweden
0 15 14

19 19

25

50

Max score: 100
Data: 6.003 employed respondants in the Nordic countries Source: INNOVATIONinside and Userneeds

8 The Rise of the Creative Masses

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and innovative, while this is true of 38 pct. in large companies. When asked how creative and innovative you are in your job, 26 pct. say “very” in the small companies compared with 16 pct. in the large companies. Likewise, the innovation culture is much stronger in small companies. While 23 pct. in small companies strongly agree that management is receptive and open to criticism, only 7 pct. find that true in large companies. Bureaucracy kills ideas in the large companies. While 36 pct. in small companies strongly agree that formal procedures and rules do not hamper creativity and innovation, a mere 11 pct. share that view in large companies. In small companies 21 pct. say that they get ideas very often, while this is true of only 12 pct. in large companies.

Innovation leaders. The entrepreneurs are the leaders of the innovation cul-

ture. On every account, the entrepreneurs deliver higher scores on the key drivers for the creative and innovative workplace, distancing themselves from other business managers. The entrepreneurs believe more strongly than other managers and employees that being creative and innovative are very important. This is true of 60 pct. of the Nordic entrepreneurs compared to 54 pct. of the managers and 36 pct. of the employees. While it may not be surprising that entrepreneurs are strongly focused on being creative and innovative, since they typically are the leaders and owners of the workplace, entrepreneurs, however, also seem to have a better understanding of the processes that develop creativity into innovation. 26 pct. also say that there are very clear procedures for working with ideas in their workplace, compared to 8 pct. of the managers – and only 6 pct. of all those working in large companies. No doubt many professional managers can learn lessons from the entrepreneurs on how to build a strong innovation culture, empowering employees, encouraging ideas and working with them.

Private and public sectors share the innovation agenda
The private and public sectors share the view on the importance of innovation. No Nordic country displays any important difference between the two sectors when asked how important it is to be creative and innovative in the job – although the level between the countries varies greatly. In Sweden 58 pct. of those in the private sector find it very important to be creative and innovative in the job, while 59 pct. say so in the public sector. In Finland 25 pct. find it very important in the private sector and 27 pct. in the public. Comparing the two sectors, overall the job conditions in terms of work satisfaction, mood and influence are quite similar. The private sector tends to be slightly better at shaping good conditions for creativity and innovation than the public sector, but it is not a big difference. The similarity between the sectors may be surprising, since

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the public sector does not operate on competitive terms with the market forces creating the motivation to innovate, while many private companies have to innovate or risk extinction. There are, however, a few notable differences. The innovation culture is not as strong in the public sector as in the private. 16 pct. in the private sector strongly agree that everybody supports innovation, while only 8 pct. do so in the public. The management in the public sector does not pay as much attention to ideas, as their private colleagues. 11 pct. in the public sector say management always listens, while 19 pct. agree in the private sector, suggesting a work environment in the public sector less perceptive to new ideas. Also, the public sector doesn’t involve the customers – citizens and corporations – in the innovation processes to the same degree as the private sector. Only 4 pct. strongly agree that the customers are involved, while the same is true of 13 pct. in the private sector, indicating that the public sector does not benefit from the ideas and knowledge of their stakeholders to the same extent when developing new solutions. In spite of the differences, the public sectors in the Nordic countries do not trail far behind the private sector in transforming from workforce to an innovation force, mobilizing the vast creative masses of the workplaces, thus contributing importantly to the value creation in the economy at large.

10 The Rise of the Creative Masses

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The Innovative Workplace
“Innovation is not the product of logical thought, although the result is tied to logical structure.”
Albert Einstein

According to leading economic institutions such as the OECD, the key to prosperity and jobs in the future lies in the ability of countries, companies, and people to create and innovate. The challenge is how to achieve such growth – how to enhance the ability to think creatively, to generate ideas, and to turn the ideas into new solutions and products. On a national level, OECD has identified knowledge, ITC, education and entrepreneurship as important drivers of innovation. New knowledge is a prerequisite for identifying new opportunities. ICT enables smarter processes and products and makes development more efficient. Education enhances the talents of the workforce. And entrepreneurs, creating new companies, offer better solutions. The workplace, however, remains the epicenter of creativity and innovation in all economies. This is where knowledge and new ideas are transformed into new products and solutions, creating new growth and new jobs. Consequently, a key to success in the 2010’s is to design workplaces that foster creativity and produce innovation. This is the single most important leadership challenge of the new decade, whether we address the need to compete in a global economy, the need to find answers to the climate crisis, or the need to redesign graying societies with shrinking workforces. Creating innovative workplaces is especially important in the Nordic countries. Without product and business model innovation, competition is all about cost. The Nordic countries are affluent societies with high wages and high taxes, financing welfare societies that offer free education, free health care, and unparalleled social security. Competing on costs with new economic superpowers, such as China, India, Russia and Brazil, is a questionable strategy. Competing on new ideas, which turn into competitive new solutions and products is by far a more sensible strategy. Consequently, more people need to make a living by creating something new. The fact is, innovative workplaces are more competitive and produce higher revenues. According to a Danish study, the 100 most innovative companies in Denmark had a revenue margin of 13 pct. on the turnover compared to an average of 7 pct. among

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the 1,000 largest companies in Denmark – which by themselves already represent the business elite of the country.2 Also, 30 pct. of the turnover in the 100 most innovative companies in Denmark came from products and services that did not exist three years ago, documenting an ability to turn ideas into profitable solutions. In order for a nation to compete on ideas, however, it is necessary to replicate the achievement of the innovative business elite to create an innovative workplace on a large scale. The entire workforce needs to be transformed into an innovation force, mobilizing the creativity and innovation of the many. The best of companies are well aware of the importance of mobilizing the creativity of all employees, including stakeholders outside the company, instead of leaving it in the hands of a selected few, when trying to improve, develop, invent and reinvent every process and product for added competitiveness and value. For instance, when Jack Welsh as the CEO of General Electric introduced an innovation culture to the company and involved all employees in the effort, some of the most productive ideas and insights came from the truck drivers that delivered the goods to the customers and had hands on knowledge of what worked and what could be improved – and often ideas on how to do it. Likewise, a company of 1,000 employees may have 20 R&D experts, but if only 10 pct. of the rest has the knowledge, creativity and motivation to come with one idea each for a new product or process, this would provide the firm with 98 employees contributing significantly to innovation – more than five times more people than the R&D department has. Consider Lego which may have a customer base of about 3 million people. If only 0.01 pct. has the ability and willingness to contribute to innovation, which others in fact would like to buy, then this is 300 people compared to some 150 employees focused on designing new products. In others words, innovation is not just a job for those working in the R&D department. Everybody can contribute with new ideas in all positions and all levels in the workplace. It is the total effort that distinguishes the best from the rest. But in order for everybody to be able to contribute, leaders need to design a workplace where employees have the opportunity, means, and motivation to initiate innovation.

2

”The Innovation Elite”, Monday Morning, 2006

12 The Rise of the Creative Masses

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Nordic Innovation Excellence
Innovation on the job is top priority in Nordic countries. According to a representative survey of the workforces of Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark, most Nordic business managers – in the private sector as well as the public – are well aware of the need for innovation. Asked whether they believe it to be important to be creative and innovative in their job, no less than 71 pct. of the Swedish business leaders say “very important”. An impressive number by any account. The mindset among the business leaders is important, since the challenge of creating an innovative workplace first and foremost rests with the leaders of the workplace. Few others have the power and authority to ensure a working environment with the means, tools and opMethodology The survey ”Innovation Force 2010” is a representative sample of the workportunities that unleash the innovative potential of forces in Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark, totaling 6.003 responeverybody, turning the workforce into a real innodents. The survey was conducted by Userneeds in December 2009 with vation force. 1.501 respondents in Finland, 1.500 respondents in Sweden, 1.500 respondents in Norway and 1.502 respondents in Denmark. The questionnaire was based on the Innovation Force Index – described later in this report – developed by Innovation Inside.

Not all the Nordic countries, however, have leaders with the same strong conviction of the importance of being creative and innovative, as the Swedes. While 63 pct. of the Danish business leaders think it is very important, agreeing with the thinking of their Swedish colleagues, only 44 pct. of the Norwegian and 41 pct. of the Finnish business leaders think creativity and innovation is very important. See figure 3.
Figure 3

The Innovative Job
How important is it to be creative and innovative in your job?
% 100 85 75 63 53 50 44 44 44 41 42 26 21 16 46 40 34 25 24 23 18 10 0 71

How creative and innovative are you in your job?
Response: "Very much"

Response: "Very important"

68

17

17 10

14

Denmark

Sweden

Norway

Finland Managers

Denmark

Sweden

Norway

Finland

Data: 6.003 employed respondants in the Nordic countries Source: INNOVATIONinside and Userneeds

Employees

Entrepreneurs

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While it may be predictable that business managers have a keen understanding of the importance of being innovative, it may be more surprising that the Nordic employees to a large extent share the view. Asked the same question about the importance of being creative and innovative on the job, 53 pct. of the Swedish employees – more than half of the workforce in the country – say it is “very important”. Denmark trails somewhat with 44 pct., while in Norway only 24 pct. think it is very important to be creative and innovative, and in Finland only 21 pct., less than half as many as in Sweden, but still one in five of the total workforce. Interestingly, employees of each country seem to follow their managers in their assessment of innovation importance. Hence, this result also marks the relevance of managers in shaping the right conditions for innovation. In spite of the significant national variations, the Nordic leaders and employees – especially in Sweden and Denmark – obviously share a strong common understanding that competition today is more about new smart ideas than long hours – although one doesn’t rule out the other. The large number of people believing creativity and innovation are very important on the job suggests a broad shift in the mindset of the working population away from the dutiful compliance of given tasks - striving for efficiency, a characteristic of the industrial age, towards an individual responsibility in producing ideas. This signals a rise of the creative masses, rather than the rise of a creative class.

Few feel innovative in the workplace
While the Nordic countries seem to have a vast potential for ideas and innovation that may be turned into competitive advantages and create new wealth and new jobs in the global economy, it is by no means a given fact that this actually will happen. A supportive mindset may be a necessary prerequisite, but innovation depends not on intent alone. It needs the support from innovative workplace practices and processes as well. When asked not just about the importance of being creative and innovative on their jobs, but if they actually are creative and innovative, the percentages drop dramatically all over. Only 34 pct. of the Swedish leaders and 23 pct. of the Swedish employees say “very”. That’s less than half of the number that believe it is very important in their jobs. See figure 3 on page 13. Looking at all the respondents in all the Nordic countries, 42 pct. find it very important to be creative and innovative in their job, whereas only 18 pct. say they are very creative and innovative. And when asked how often they get work-related ideas, only 14 pct. reply “very often”.

14 The Rise of the Creative Masses

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There is a vast divide between what is perceived as important to master at the workplace and what is actually performed. There is a divide between intention and action. This has several important implications:

• •

On the positive side, the Nordic workforces have a vast untapped potential to be more creative and innovative – the necessity is broadly understood, although the actual performance doesn’t match up. On the negative side the Nordic workforces seemingly lack the ability to be the innovation force that is needed today.

Of course, the divide between innovation intent and innovation performance also suggests that millions of people underperform in the job today. This is not just a story about lost economic potential, but also of personal frustration, being exposed to and embedded in a workplace which does not provide the means and opportunities necessary to do what one really thinks one should do. It is a well-documented fact that the level of creativity and the ability to innovate very much depends on how the workplace is designed and managed. Creativity and the ideas it fosters thrive in a workplace where the individual is motivated, empowered, recognized, and happy. Innovation thrives in a workplace with clear goals, transparent and widely understood processes, receptive and open management, pro-innovation culture, open to external ideas, and clear performance indicators. The difference between what managers as well as employees perceive to be needed and what they perceive to be reality when it comes to creativity and innovation in the job, implies that most workplaces are not well designed and managed to foster an innovation force. This conclusion is supported by an analysis of the Nordic workplaces, expressed in the Nordic Innovation Force Index below.

Measuring the Nordic innovation forces
The Nordic Innovation Force Index reflects the key indicators for a workplace that supports creativity and innovation and measures excellence by using answers that reflect best practice. A creative working environment is characterized by a high employee satisfaction, i.e. work satisfaction, good mood and influence on the job. Empowered, happy, and content employees produce more ideas and better results. The Nordic people have a high degree of individual work satisfaction. Overall, about a third of all leaders and employees respond that they are very satisfied with their work, while one in four in general is in a very good mood at work and one third feel

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they have a great deal of influence on their job. This corresponds with several OECDsurveys positioning the Nordic employees as some of the most content in the world. However, this overall satisfaction level is put into perspective when it comes to conditions more closely related to creativity and innovation. For indicators measuring the quality of the processes and the culture in the workplace that promote creativity and innovation excellence, the numbers drop dramatically.

Table 1

Nordic Innovation Force Index
Denmark Individual How do thrive in your job? How is your mood at work? How much influence do you have on your work? Average Organization The management is perceptive of criticism of the work processes The management is perceptive of criticism of the products Everybody supports innovation Everybody accepts failures Rules and procedures do not hamper innovation Innovation initiatives are evaluated Average Initiative How important is it to be creative and innovative in your job? How creative and innovative are you in your job? How often do you get work related ideas? Average Management How often does management listen to your ideas? Do you know where to go with new ideas? Do you get feedback on your ideas? Average Processes We work well across sections and professions Employees have different professional and personal backgrounds We involve suppliers in development of new products We involve customers in development of new products We have procedures for working with innovation Average Total score
Answers: Data: Very much, very good, very often, agree very much 6.003 employed respondants in the Nordic countries

Sweden 34 22 32 29

Norway 35 22 35 31

Finland 21 11 22 18

Average 32 20 32 28

38 25 39 34

11 11 10 14 17 9 12

13 13 24 18 20 10 16

13 12 9 14 18 10 13

10 10 7 12 17 7 11

12 12 13 15 18 9 13

49 20 17 29

59 27 18 35

32 13 14 20

26 12 8 15

42 18 14 25

17 41 23 27

10 50 20 27

21 45 23 30

15 42 18 25

16 45 21 27

20 48 9 12 8 19 438

18 28 8 7 10 14 441

22 44 10 10 8 19 410

17 36 6 9 5 16 311

19 39 8 10 8 17 400

Source: INNOVATIONinside and Userneeds

16 The Rise of the Creative Masses

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Some indications:

• •

• •

Only 12 pct. say that the management is very receptive to criticism to improve existing working processes and products. As management very often is the first “gate keeper” for innovation initiatives, this indicates a severe barrier to ideas that improve existing products and processes Only 13 pct. say that everybody at their workplace strongly supports innovation, indicating a weak innovation culture, where neither mindset nor values support new ideas and initiatives Only 16 pct. say that management always listens to their ideas – and when they do, only 21 pct. always get feedback on their ideas, indicating that many are left with the impression that their creative effort has little value or is not recognized Only 8 pct. say that there are very clear processes for how to work with new ideas, indicating that seeing innovation through is a struggle – or a game played by a selected few Only 9 pct. say that customers and suppliers are involved to a high degree in the innovation processes, indicating a workplace closed to ideas and knowledge from the outside.

Although creativity and innovation is a priority at many workplaces, most workplaces by far lag in implementing the necessary conditions and environment, when compared to the perceived necessity. Consequently, much needs to be done in order to create Nordic workplaces that truly mobilize the creativity of the masses and develop the innovation force that is needed to succeed in the global competition of the 2010’s. First and foremost, managers need to develop a better understanding of the conditions that promote creativity and innovation and put in place improved supportive managerial practices, while employees need to be able to acquire competencies and have access to tools for working with ideas.

Sweden is the leading Nordic innovation force
There are significant differences between the Nordic countries when it comes to mobilizing the creativity and innovative capacity at the workplace. Sweden comes across as the leading innovation force of the Nordic countries, closely trailed by Denmark and Norway, while Finland lags quite far behind the others. The Swedes in particular excel in innovative intent. The motivation to be creative and innovative is by a wide margin the highest among the Nordic countries, but the Swedes also lead in innovation culture; a shared mindset at the workplace support-

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ing new ideas and innovation, and an open minded management culture, stimulating ideas. When it comes to the process of turning the ideas into innovation, the performance is less convincing, but still the Swedes have more clarity about what to do with their ideas and how to develop them, than their neighbors. No doubt, Sweden has taken more steps toward building the innovative workplace, or the innovation force of tomorrow, than the other Nordic countries - although in many respects it is a close race. The Danes have the highest work satisfaction among the Nordic countries, but they have less initiative when it comes to being innovative, than the Swedes. Still, half of the workforce says that creativity and innovation is very important. That is not a bad precondition in order to compete in a global innovation driven economy. Denmark also has a weaker innovation culture, than Sweden, and the Danes are less structured when it comes to turning competencies and ideas into innovation. However, Danes are best in class at involving customers in the idea process. Norway much resembles Denmark, but is even weaker at innovation initiative. More Norwegians do not perceive being creative and innovative to be all that important. Management is more receptive and open to ideas in Norway, than in the other Nordic countries, but the receptiveness lacks innovative intent and direction. The lack of innovative focus may have to do with the vast oil resources, buffering the nation against the global competitive forces. The Finns lag remarkably behind the others on just about all indicators. Not only is the overall job satisfaction much lower than in the other countries, so is the initiative and motivation to be creative and innovative as well. Only one in four Finns think it is important to be creative and innovative in their job. And even more surprisingly, only 41 pct. of the business leaders think so, compared to 71 pct. of the Swedish business leaders. Obviously, Finnish business leaders need to have much more innovative intent and direction. The weak Finnish scores are surprising. Finland has long been a leading nation in global competitiveness and invests heavily in R&D, producing new knowledge that supports innovation. However, only 2 pct. of the employees in large Finnish corporations and 17 pct. in small companies strongly agree that everybody at the workplace supports innovation, indicating a very weak innovation culture.

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Innovation thrives in small workplaces
Creativity and innovation thrives in small workplaces. In all Nordic countries, larger companies – defined as workplaces with more than 50 employees – have greater difficulties in making ideas flourish and innovation processes excel. Overall in the Nordic countries, 51 pct. of the workforce in small companies find it very important to be creative and innovative, while this is true of 38 pct. in large companies. When asked how creative and innovative you are in your job, 26 pct. say “very” in the small companies compared with 16 pct. in the large companies.

Figure 4-1

Innovation in small and large companies
All countries - mean

The management is receptive of criticism of the work processes
Response: "Agree very much"
8

23

Rules and procedures do not hamper innovation
Response: "Agree very much"
12

36

How important is it to be creative and innovative in your job?
Response: "Very important"
38

51

How creative and innovative are you in your job?
Response: "Very much"
16

26

How often do you get work related ideas?
Response: "Very often"
12

21

Everybody supports innovation
Response: "Agree very much"
9 26

% 25 50 75 100

0

Data: 6.003 employed respondants in the Nordic countries Source: INNOVATIONinside and Userneeds

Small organisations

Large organisations

Certainly, there is a difference between small and large companies when it comes to the perception of the importance of creativity and innovation, but not on a grand scale. The leaders and employees in both types of companies share the notion of innovation being important. However, the culture and processes that support creativity and innovation differ much more depending on the size of the workplace. The innovation culture is much stronger in small companies. In small companies 26 pct. strongly agree that all employees support innovation, while only 9 pct. say so in

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19

Figure 4-2

Innovation in small and large companies
Denmark Sweden Norway Finland Denmark Sweden Norway Finland Denmark Sweden Norway Finland Denmark Sweden Norway Finland Denmark Sweden Norway Finland
6 10 13 17 16 22 29 36 42 6 23 32 10 20 18

The management is receptive of criticism of the work processes
Response: "Agree very much"

8 8

Rules and procedures do not hamper innovation
Response: "Agree very much"

11 11 13 11 29

34 46 34

How important is it to be creative and innovative in your job?
Response: "Very important"

45

57 56 70

How creative and innovative are you in your job?
Response: "Very much"

16 24

32 38

How often do you get work related ideas?
Response: "Very often"

15 14 14 13 20

23 27

Everybody supports innovation
Response: "Agree very much"

Denmark Sweden Norway Finland
0 2

7 18 17 17 25

25 45

7

% 50 75 100

Data: 6.003 employed respondants in the Nordic countries Source: INNOVATIONinside and Userneeds

Small organisations

Large organisations

large companies. Likewise, while 23 pct. in small companies strongly agree that their management is receptive of criticism, only 8 pct. find that true in large companies. Bureaucracy is a serious barrier to new ideas in the large companies. While 36 pct. in small companies strongly agree that formal procedures and rules do not hamper creativity and innovation, a mere 12 pct. share that view in large companies. This seems to affect the ability to produce ideas. In small companies 21 pct. say that they get ideas very often, while this is true of only 12 pct. in large companies. However, rigid processes not only hamper the ability to develop and implement innovative ideas, they also “backfire” to the extent that employees lose motivation for innovation initiative at the prospect of struggling against the organization.

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Overall, the small companies are markedly better at motivating the individual to be creative and in facilitating ideas to innovation. This is not to say that smaller companies necessarily produce more innovative value – large companies often have easier access to resources to promote demanding innovation projects with large market potential. But when it comes to the management effort of creating an innovation force, mobilizing the creative potential in the workplace by designing conditions that support creativity and innovation in every task and step of the value chain, large companies have much to learn from small.

Entrepreneurs lead innovation
It is no coincidence that the ability to foster entrepreneurship is a major innovation driver in the economy. The entrepreneurs are the leaders of the innovation culture. On every account, the entrepreneurs deliver higher scores on the key drivers for the creative and innovative workplace, distancing themselves from other business managers.

Figure 5-1

The Innovative Entrepreneur
All countries - mean
55 36 60 56

How important is it to be creative and innovative in your job?
Response: "Very important"

Everybody supports innovation
Response: "Agree very much"

13 10 37 12

How often do you get work related ideas?
Response: "Very often"

21 11 28 16 % 0 25 50 75 100

Managers
Data: 6.003 employed respondants in the Nordic countries Source: INNOVATIONinside and Userneeds

Employees

Entrepreneurs

NGO´s

The entrepreneurs believe more strongly than other managers and employees that being creative and innovative is very important. This is true of 60 pct. of the Nordic entrepreneurs compared to 55 pct. of the managers and 36 pct. of the employees.

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Figure 5-2

The Innovative Entrepreneur

How important is it to be creative and innovative in your job?
Response: "Very important"

Denmark Sweden Norway Finland
21 24 41 41

44 53 44 44

63 68 71 85

Everybody supports innovation
Response: "Agree very much"

Denmark Sweden Norway Finland
6 5

8

11 37 23 21 60 29 22

9

7

How often do you get work related ideas?
Response: "Very often"

Denmark Sweden Norway Finland
0 6

12 14 10 13 16 25 22

26 36 38 21 22

% 50 75 100

Managers
Data: 6.003 employed respondants in the Nordic countries Source: INNOVATIONinside and Userneeds

Employees

Entrepreneurs

The entrepreneurs are better at creating an innovative culture. 37 pct. of the entrepreneurs say that all employees support innovation at their workplace, while this is only true of 13 pct. of the managers and 10 pct. of the employees. Entrepreneurs are also better at getting ideas. 28 pct. get ideas very often, while this is true of 21 pct. of the managers and 11 pct. of the employees. It is not surprising that entrepreneurs are strongly focused on being creative and innovative. Entrepreneurs typically are the leaders and owners of the workplace – unsurprisingly, 83 pct. say they have a great deal of influence on their job – and consequently they have a strong personal and financial interest in having success in the marketplace. Also, by nature, many entrepreneurs are creative people, building a business on a new idea. However, entrepreneurs also seem to have a better understanding of the processes that develop creativity into innovation. 26 pct. say that there are very clear procedures for working with ideas at their workplace, compared to 8 pct. of the managers

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– and only 6 pct. of all those working in large companies. This is surprising as one typically would expect a larger established firm to operate with more sophisticated methods and with established processes compared to recently started businesses. Obviously, firms with recent successful innovation experience share an understanding of the importance of this task and support innovation through more process clarity. No doubt many professional managers can learn lessons from the entrepreneurs on how to build a strong innovation culture, empowering employees, encouraging ideas and working with them. Again, there are important differences between the countries. While 85 pct. of the Swedish entrepreneurs strongly agree that creativity and innovation is important, 68 pct. think likewise in Denmark, but only 44 pct. of the Norwegian and 41 pct. of the Finnish entrepreneurs. The same level of national difference is true when looking at how often the entrepreneurs get ideas, how creative and innovative they are in their job and to what extent everybody supports innovation at the workplace. The difference in mindset suggests that Finnish and Norwegian entrepreneurs are less creative and innovative than the Swedish entrepreneurs in particular. This indicates potential for less innovative and thus less competitive and less growth oriented new businesses and workplaces in those countries. This should cause concern, since entrepreneurs in most aspects are the leaders of innovation and an important contributor to national innovation capacity. Interestingly, the NGO’s also come across as highly creative workplaces. Overall, 56 pct. of the NGO’s believe creativity and innovation is very important. In Sweden it is 85 pct. – matching the entrepreneurs. The employees at the NGOs also think they are very creative in their job, and get many ideas. Seemingly, the necessity for the often idealistic and underfinanced NGO to set a public agenda and get funding in many ways resembles the reality of the business entrepreneur.

Private and public sectors share the innovation agenda
The private and public sectors share the view on the importance of innovation. No Nordic country displays any important difference between the two sectors when asked how important it is to be creative and innovative in the job – although once again there is a big difference in the level between the countries. In Sweden 58 pct. of those in the private sector find it very important to be creative and innovative in the job, while 59 pct. say so in the public sector. In Finland 25 pct. find it very important in the private sector and 27 pct. in the public. Looking at the two sectors, overall the job conditions in terms of work satisfaction, mood and influence are quite similar. The private sector tends to be better at shap-

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Figure 6-1

Innovation in Private and Public Sector
All countries - mean

How important is it to be creative and innovative in your job?
Response: "Very important"

42 41

How often do you get work related ideas?
Response: "Very often"

15 13

Everybody supports innovation
Response: "Agree very much"
9

17

The management is receptive of criticism of the work processes
Response: "Agree very much"
11

19

We involve customers in development of new products
Response: "Agree very much"
0

13 4 % 25 50 75

Data: 6.003 employed respondants in the Nordic countries Source: INNOVATIONinside and Userneeds

Private sector

Public sector

ing good conditions for creativity and innovation than the public sector, but it is not an important difference. The similarity between the sectors is beneficial to the innovative capacity of the overall economy, and remarkable, since the public sector does not operate on competitive terms with market forces motivating it to innovate. This may well be an important contribution to the Nordic growth potential and a very important contribution to the challenge of transforming the national workforces into innovation forces. There are, however, a few notable differences. The innovation culture is not as strong in the public sector as in the private. 17 pct. in the private sector strongly agree that all employees support innovation, while only 9 pct. do so in the public. The management in the public sector does not pay as much attention to ideas, as their private colleagues. 11 pct. in the public sector say management always listens, while 19 pct. agree in the private sector, suggesting a work environment in the public sector less perceptive to new ideas. Also, the public sector doesn’t involve the customers – citizens and corporations – in the innovation processes to the same extent as the private sector. Only 4 pct. strongly agree that the customers are involved, while the same is true of 13 pct. in the private sector, indicating that the public sector does not benefit from the ideas and knowledge of their stakeholders to the same degree when developing new solutions.

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Figure 6-2

Innovation in Private and Public Sector
Denmark Sweden Norway Finland
25 27 27 34 49 50 58 59

How important is it to be creative and innovative in your job?
Response: "Very important"

How often do you get work related ideas?
Response: "Very often"

Denmark Sweden Norway Finland
6 9

17 16 18 17 15 13

Everybody supports innovation
Response: "Agree very much"

Denmark Sweden Norway Finland

5

15 29

17 8 5 8 15

The management is perceptive of criticism of the work processes
Response: "Agree very much"

Denmark Sweden Norway Finland
10 4

14 14

19

15 19

24

We involve customers in development of new products
Response: "Agree very much"

Denmark Sweden Norway Finland
0 3 4

5 10

16

14 10 % 25 50 75

6

Data: 6.003 employed respondants in the Nordic countries Source: INNOVATIONinside and Userneeds

Private sector

Public sector

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The Innovation Force Index
The Innovation Force Index measures the quality of workplace creativity and innovation by charting the most important framework conditions for production of ideas and developing them to new business models, products and solutions. The index builds on a vast body of data that documents the main drivers of innovation in an organization. It is derived from a comprehensive conceptual model that is called Seven Circles of Innovation. Seven Circles of Innovation has been developed in cooperation with international innovation management experts and practitioners. It has been used since 2006 as the basic model for several innovation management benchmark exercises at Innovation Cup in Denmark and Innovate! Austria. Building on this model, more than 350 large and small private and public organizations have been analyzed with respect to their innovation capacity in detail. This unique and extensive database is used to condense the overall most important conditions and drivers for innovation, and the best management practices.3 Innovation Force Index measures the key indicators of the innovation capacity of the organization and offers a workplace benchmark against the best practice of the national workforce. In order to build an innovative workplace, the management needs to design an organizational architecture that promotes creativity – the ability to get ideas – and innovation – the ability to turn ideas into new solutions. Two fundamental organizational conditions must be met in order for a workplace to mobilize the creative potential of the workplace, and aspire to become an innovation force.

Individual. The employees have to be satisfied with their jobs and have influ-

ence on the job content. Ideas spring from emotional conditions, and happy people not only produce more ideas, they also deliver better results.

Organization. An organization needs a culture – i.e. a common mindset and

common set of values – that on the one hand promotes new ideas and initiatives, and on the other hand accepts that new ideas and ventures may fail – that failure is a process of learning, not humiliation. Likewise, management needs to be open to ideas that sometimes are presented as criticism of the present processes and practices. Bureaucracy with extensive routines and rules may block or make
3 For further references see www.sevencirclesofinnovation.com and www.innovationcup.org

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it difficult and slow to proceed from idea to innovation. Also, evaluation of innovation projects with the aim of learning from success as well as failures should be common practice in the workplace.

Innovation Force Index
Individual
Satisfaction Empowerment Influence

Management Initiative
Creativity Ideas Idea reception Attentiveness Feedback Usage

Processes
Cooperation Involvement Procedures

Success
KPI

Organization
Culture Openness Flexibility Evaluation

Once these conditions are established, it is easier for managers as well as employees to produce ideas and thus take initiative – measured as the importance to be creative and innovative in the job and through the amount of ideas produced. In order for the ideas to develop it is important that management ensures that everybody knows where to turn with their ideas, that ideas are acknowledged, that the individual gets feedback on the ideas and that good ideas are actually put to use. In order to support innovation there should be clear and broadly communicated processes for working with ideas and implementing them. The processes should include a variety of relevant competencies, not least those of customers, suppliers and other external stakeholders. Also, it is important to measure the success of the ideas that have been imScoring the Index When calculating the overall Innovation Force Index in this report, the total plemented, in order to learn and inspire.
score for all Nordic countries has been calculated as a simple average of the scores of each country, and is thus not weighted according to population or workforce size of the countries. We have chosen this method because the primary focus is on the benchmark between each of the countries. Also, the KPI's in the Index have not been calculated, being a variable that depends on the individual organization, thus adding too much complexity to the workforce survey.

In the following, the more detailed results are reported from the survey of the workplaces in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland based on the creativity and innovation drivers of Innovation Force Index.

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Innovation Governance
A Danish committee of innovation experts has formulated a set of principles for best management practice of innovation. The following are the twelve key principles 1. Make growth a target. Whether the target is about turnover, profit, customer satisfaction, competencies, employee satisfaction or something else is less important. But without growth target the motivation to innovate is small. 2. Determine how much of the company turnover has to stem from new products or concepts, and make it a success criteria. Some of the most innovative companies in the world compensate employees for their ability to deliver growth through products that do not exist today. 3. Connect strategy and vision with innovation. Innovation is never a purpose in itself. Innovation is the means to deliver on strategy and vision. 4. Map the innovation competencies and capacity of the organization year-by-year, measure the output, and compare with peers. Document the development internally and externally. 5. Conceptualize an innovation strategy, discuss it at board meetings and communicate it to everybody. Without a common understanding of innovation it is difficult to create a common direction and process. 6. Make it clear to all that innovation and creativity is valued. This can be done by creating an innovation room and by awarding good ideas or allowing employees to work on their own ideas. 7. Create a culture that values experiments. Management could inform on its own ”mistakes” or failed projects to prevent a no-risk taking culture. 8. Be sure that everyone knows the innovation model of the workplace, and that the procedure for working with innovation is communicated to all. 9. Develop an innovative mentality among all by making sure that managers as well as employees have the competencies to work with ideas and innovation, and to participate in the innovation processes. 10. Make innovation an integral part of the incentive structure at the workplace. 11. Encourage innovative cooperation – innovation is about collaboration, not individual achievements. 12. Work systematically with idea generation by establishing systems for idea processing that make it easy to share ideas and evaluate ideas among internal as well as external stakeholders.
Source: Task Force on Innovation Governance, Council of Innovation, 2006

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Nordic Innovation Forces
1. The Individual

Individual
Satisfaction Empowerment Influence
Initiative
Creativity Ideas

Management
Idea reception Attentiveness Feedback Usage

Processes
Cooperation Involvement Procedures

Success
KPI

Organization
Culture Openness Flexibility Evaluation

Overall, the Nordic people are in general satisfied with their jobs. Every third person - 32 pct. - are very satisfied and if the number of people answering “satisfied” is added, a full 90 pct. of the workforce are satisfied with their jobs. The vast majority – 76 pct. - also says that they have influence on their job – 32 pct. answer that they have a great deal of influence. And 92 pct. are in a good mood. There are national variations – only 21 pct. of the Finns are very satisfied with their job, whereas the other Scandinavian countries are much on the same level with an average of 36 pct. of the Swedes, Norwegians and Danes being very satisfied. The difference is repeated with the mood at work with only 11 pct. of the Finns being in a very good mood, while the other countries are level with an average of 23 pct. – one in four – being in a very good mood. Happy and engaged employees foster more ideas and produce better results. With Finland showing some weakness, the Nordic workplaces in general have a good point of departure when it comes to establishing the foundation for competing on creativity and ideas.

Work satisfaction
Job satisfaction is important for engagement, productivity and initiative in the job. The entrepreneurs in all countries have by far the highest work satisfaction, with an average of 51 pct. being very satisfied with their job. The Danish entrepreneurs top the list with 63 pct. being very satisfied. The managers trail the entrepreneurs with 38 pct. being very satisfied with their work, whereas 28 pct. of the employees are very satisfied.

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How satisfied are you with your work?
% 75 63 57 49 41 39 51 48 44 38 34 28 25 29 32 28 27 19 21 22 37 40 40 35 33 34 30 40 34 37 33 35 33 32 31

Response: "Very satisfied"

50

46

18

0

Managers

Employees

Entrepreneurs

Small organisations

Large org.

Private org.

Public org.

Data: 6.003 employed respondants in the Nordic countries Source: INNOVATIONinside and Userneeds

Denmark

Sweden

Norway

Finland

All - mean

In all countries work satisfaction tends to be higher in smaller workplaces, while the difference between private and public workplaces is small.

Work mood
Being in a good mood at work is important for creativity and ideas. The mood is an indicator of the level of creativity and the production of ideas. Rewarding job experiences generate ideas. The entrepreneurs are in the best mood. One in three – 35 pct. – say they are in a very good mood. Again, there is no difference between Sweden, Denmark and Norway – in all three countries 40 pct. of the entrepreneurs are in a very good mood at work, while in Finland this is only true of 22 pct. One in four of the managers – 24 pct. – are in a good mood at work, with Danish managers being most happy: 32 pct. are in a very good mood, contrary to Finland, where this is true of only 14 pct. Among the employees only 17 pct. – less than one in five – are in a very good mood, again with the Danish employees being the happiest with 22 pct. being in a very good mood. This implies that there is quite some room to improve the work experience in the Nordic workplaces and thereby strengthen the foundation for creativity and ideas.

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In all countries the mood tends to be better in smaller workplaces, while the difference between private and public workplaces is small.

How is your mood at work?
%
75

Response: "Very good”

50 40 41 40 32 25 24 25 14 9 24 22 22 17 16 9 35 32 31 30 27 21 20 21 18 11

26

20 19

23 24

21

23

21 20 12

19

0

Managers

Employees

Entrepreneurs

Small organisations

Large org.

Private org.

Public org.

Data: 6.003 employed respondants in the Nordic countries Source: INNOVATIONinside and Userneeds

Denmark

Sweden

Norway

Finland

All - mean

Work influence
Influence on your own job is important for engagement, initiative and creativity. 83 pct. of the entrepreneurs experience a great deal of influence in their job. Typically being the founder and leader of the workplace, this is hardly surprising, but nevertheless a good indicator of what is possible, given the optimal conditions. 47 pct. of the managers have a great deal of influence in their job. That’s half as much as the entrepreneurs. With 58 pct. Danish managers have by far most influence, with 50 pct. in Norway and 43 pct. in Sweden and 36 pct. in Finland. The differences are important, since the managers are the key players in shaping workplace conditions for ideas and innovation. 22 pct. of the employees have a great deal of influence on their job. Again, there are important national variances. The Danish employees have the most influence with 30 pct. having a great deal, while the Norwegians and Swedes trail with 22 pct. each, and Finns with 15 pct. Obviously, there is room for further delegation and autonomy in the workplaces to foster more engagement and initiative.

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In all countries influence tends to be greater in the small workplaces. In Sweden 61 pct. experience a great deal of influence on their job in small workplaces, while this is true of only 24 pct. in large workplaces. In Finland the numbers are 40 pct. in small workplaces and 14 pct. in large. In Norway 55 pct. experience a great deal of influence in small workplaces and 28 pct. in large. In Denmark the numbers are 59 pct. and 33 pct. respectively, being the country with the smallest variation. Clearly, large workplaces constrain engagement and initiative significantly more than small. Also, those in private workplaces experience more influence than publicly employed colleagues.

How much influence do you have on your work?
Response: "Very much”
% 100 90 88 87 83 75 58 50 50 43 36 30 25 22 22 15 22 47 40 33 28 24 14 25 25

67 59 61 55 54 43 38 42 37 33 22 24 17 24

0

Managers

Employees

Entrepreneurs

Small organisations

Large org.

Private org.

Public org.

Data: 6.003 employed respondants in the Nordic countries Source: INNOVATIONinside and Userneeds

Denmark

Sweden

Norway

Finland

All - mean

Work empowerment
Responsibility and empowerment is important for the individual if they are to act on ideas and challenges. Responsibility without the power to act may lead to frustration and passivity rather than creative solutions and action. 73 pct. of the entrepreneurs strongly agree that they have responsibility as well as the power to act. 46 pct. of the managers strongly agree, while this is true of only 19 pct. of the employees. Obviously, the employees are not extensively empowered in their jobs. The Swedish and Danish entrepreneurs seem to experience more empowerment than their Norwegian and Finnish collegeues. There are no important national variations

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between the managers of the Nordic countries, however, while 26 pct. of the employees in Sweden and 22 pct. in Denmark say they are greatly empowered, this is only true of 15 pct. in Finland and 12 pct. in Norway. Small workplaces tend to have more empowerment – twice as many answer “greatly empowered” compared to large workplaces. Private workplaces also tend to have slightly greater empowerment than public.

Statement: I have responsibility and power to act on it
Response: "Agree very much”
% 100 86 78 75 64 64 51 43 42 46 43 40 33 22 26 15 19 25 12 27 19 22 17 29 25 73 65

49 49 50

49 40 32 28 30 20 21

25

25

0

Managers

Employees

Entrepreneurs

Small organisations

Large org.

Private org.

Public org.

Data: 6.003 employed respondants in the Nordic countries Source: INNOVATIONinside and Userneeds

Denmark

Sweden

Norway

Finland

All - mean

2. The Organization
Individual
Satisfaction Empowerment Influence

Management Initiative
Creativity Ideas Idea reception Attentiveness Feedback Usage

Processes
Cooperation Involvement Procedures

Success
KPI

Organization
Culture Openness Flexibility Evaluation

The innovation culture is not as strong as the job satisfaction in the Nordic workplaces. Innovation culture is first and foremost defined by a mindset and shared values that support innovation and accepts failure as the flipside of innovation. This mindset should be shared in a workplace in order for the individual to dare to seek change and new projects, and to make the organization support new ventures.

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Overall, only 13 pct. of the Nordic people strongly agree that everybody in the workplace supports innovation, while 15 pct. strongly agree that everybody accepts failure. This implies a rather weak innovation culture and hampers much of all other efforts to innovate. The management should be open to new ideas and criticism of the existing processes and products in order to foster an innovation culture and promote new ideas and initiatives. However, only 12 pct. strongly agree that management is open to criticism of existing processes and 12 pct. strongly agree that management is open to criticism of existing products. That is not an indicator of an open dialogue, encouraging all those in the workplace to improve existing practices. Extensive bureaucracy with rules and procedures may pose a serious barrier to ideas and change. Only 18 pct. strongly agree that this is not the case in their workplace, indicating that bureaucracy is stifling innovation in the Nordic workplaces. It is important to evaluate ideas and innovation in order to learn what works and what doesn’t, and expose the successes for inspiration. Only 9 pct. strongly agree that innovation is evaluated in their workplace, again indicating a weak innovation culture. There are not great national variations in the answers, except when it comes to embracing innovation in the workplace with 24 pct. of the Swedes strongly agreeing, while Denmark, Norway and Finland trail with 10 pct, 9 pct., and 7 pct. This indicates an important Swedish lead when it comes to the mindset that is an important prerequisite to being creative and innovative.

Openness
Constant self-evaluation and learning is important for the workplace to be able to improve the processes and products, and to develop. This demands that the leadership is receptive and open to criticism, and encourages debate. 36 pct. of the entrepreneurs are very open to criticism of the processes and products in the workplace. The same applies to 12 pct. of the managers and 9 pct. of the employees. There are no significant national variances, except that the Swedish entrepreneurs are more open with 48 pct. strongly agreeing. Clearly, the culture of openness and conditions for exchanging ideas can be greatly improved in the vast majority of the workplaces. There are important differences between small and large workplaces, criticism being easy to communicate in small workplaces, and much harder at large – in Sweden 33

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pct. strongly agree that management is open to criticism in small workplaces, while only 7 pct. think likewise in large workplaces. That is a difference by a factor of four. Also, it is easier to debate what could be improved in private workplaces than public – only half as many in public workplaces agree that the management is very open compared to the private.

Statement: The leadership is receptive and open to criticism of the processes and products
Response: "Agree very much”
% 75

50 39

48

36 31 25 23 33 23 20 18 14 9 6 17 8 7 7 15 12 14 7 7 8 7 7

25 11 12 14 10 12

9 10 9 8

9

0

Managers

Employees

Entrepreneurs

Small organisations

Large org.

Private org.

Public org.

Data: 6.003 employed respondants in the Nordic countries Source: INNOVATIONinside and Userneeds

Denmark

Sweden

Norway

Finland

All - mean

Culture
A common innovation culture in the workplace embracing new ideas and accepting failure is the foundation on which innovation builds. That is not necessarily easy to achieve. Many forces in a workplace resist change, while protecting status quo, and failure is easy to punish, whether the punishment comes from the management or colleagues. The entrepreneurs demonstrate how difficult it may be to foster an innovation culture. Only 37 pct. strongly agree that everybody supports innovation and as many strongly agree that everybody accepts failure. Low numbers considering these are entrepreneurial workplaces. Not surprisingly, the numbers are even lower when it comes to the managers. Only 12 pct. strongly agree that everybody supports innovation, while slightly more – 14 pct. – strongly agree that failure is acceptable.

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Statement: Everybody supports innovation
Response: "Agree very much”
% 75

60

50 37 29 25 11 23 25 21 12 9 7 8 6 5 22 37

45

26 17 17 18 15 7 7 2 9

29

16 12 8 5

17 8

10

4

5

0

Managers

Employees

Entrepreneurs

Small organisations

Large org.

Private org.

Public org.

Data: 6.003 employed respondants in the Nordic countries Source: INNOVATIONinside and Userneeds

Denmark

Sweden

Norway

Finland

All - mean

Statement: Everybody accepts failure
Response: "Agree very much”
% 75

50 41

47

35 25 25 16 18 13 14 11 11 14 13 12

37 29

36 28 21 16 21 17 13 9 8 9 17 10 13 9 10 10 11

25

10

9

0

Managers

Employees

Entrepreneurs

Small organisations

Large org.

Private org.

Public org.

Data: 6.003 employed respondants in the Nordic countries Source: INNOVATIONinside and Userneeds

Denmark

Sweden

Norway

Finland

All - mean

Among the employees 10 pct. strongly agree that everybody supports innovation, while 12 pct. strongly agree that failure is acceptable. Most workplaces obviously have a culture that does not strongly support innovation. Swedish leaders and employees, however, stand out on supporting innovation with 23 pct. of the managers and 21 pct. of the employees strongly agreeing , compared to the next best, which is Denmark, where just 11 pct. of the managers and 8 pct. of the employees strongly agree.

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There are important differences between the small and large workplaces, with about three times as many strongly agreeing to an innovation culture in the small workplaces, than in the large workplaces. There is also a significant difference between the private and public workplaces. Twice as many strongly agree to an innovation culture in private workplaces as in public.

Bureaucracy
Bureaucracy with extensive routines and procedures can be a significant barrier to ideas and change, making it difficult and slow to work with new initiatives, and thus demotivate the workplace. 47 pct. of the entrepreneurs strongly agree that rules and formal procedures do not block ideas and innovation. 21 pct. of the managers strongly agree , while the same applies to 14 pct. of the employees. There are no important national variances. Bureaucracy seems to be perceived very equally in the Nordic countries as a barrier to innovation, again making the entrepreneurs the source of inspiration. There are, however, important differences depending on the size of the workplace. Small workplaces agree three times more to the statement that bureaucracy is not stifling innovation than large workplaces. In Sweden the difference is more than a fac-

Statement: Rules and procedures do not hamper innovation
Response: "Agree very much”
% 75

58 49 50

47

47

46 36 29 27 22 23 20 11 9 11 13 11 23

34

34

34

25

20

22 22 21 21 15 15 13 14 14 11 11 13 11 11

0

Managers

Employees

Entrepreneurs

Small organisations

Large org.

Private org.

Public org.

Data: 6.003 employed respondants in the Nordic countries Source: INNOVATIONinside and Userneeds

Denmark

Sweden

Norway

Finland

All - mean

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tor four with 46 pct. in the small workplaces strongly agreeing and only 11 pct. in the large workplaces. There is also a significant difference between the private and public workplaces. Twice as many strongly agree that bureaucracy is a barrier in the public sector than in the private sector.

Evaluation
The evaluation of ideas and innovation is important in order to learn from the failures and successes alike. Reporting the successes provides guiding stars and inspiration to the workplace. 27 pct. of the entrepreneurs strongly agree that they evaluate the innovation projects - indicating plenty of room for learning as well as inspiration. This covers important national differences, though. 40 pct. of the Swedish entrepreneurs strongly agree, while this is true of only 19 pct. of the Finnish entrepreneurs with Denmark at 26 pct. and Norway at 25 pct. However, only 10 pct. of the managers strongly agree that innovation projects are evaluated. That is not an indication of a mature approach to innovation. There are no important national differences. Only 7 pct. of the employees perceive that innovation projects are evaluated, again with no significant national differences.

Statement: Innovation initiatives are evaluated
Response: "Agree very much”
% 75

50 40

26 25 11 8 13 9

25 19

27

27 17 13 8 9 5 5 7 11 14 13 9 12 7 6 7 5 6

14 10 7 7 8 5 7

15

0

Managers

Employees

Entrepreneurs

Small organisations

Large org.

Private org.

Public org.

Data: 6.003 employed respondants in the Nordic countries Source: INNOVATIONinside and Userneeds

Denmark

Sweden

Norway

Finland

All - mean

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No doubt many workplaces may learn more of what works and what doesn’t by evaluating and communicating the findings more than is the practice today. Small workplaces tend to evaluate more than large, in Denmark and Norway around twice as many strongly agree in small workplaces than large, while in Finland it is three times as many and in Sweden five times as many – 27 pct. of the respondents in small Swedish workplaces strongly agree , compared to 5 pct. in large workplaces. There is also a significant difference between the private and public workplaces. Twice as many strongly agree that innovation is evaluated in the private workplaces than in the public.

3. The initiative

Individual
Satisfaction Empowerment Influence

Initiative
Creativity Ideas
Organization
Culture Openness Flexibility Evaluation

Management
Idea reception Attentiveness Feedback Usage

Processes
Cooperation Involvement Procedures

Success
KPI

The Nordic people believe strongly in the importance of being creative and innovative in the job. 42 pct. strongly agree that this is important in their job. Adding those that believe it is important, the total number rises to an impressive 85 pct. In Sweden, 59 pct. of the total workforce believe it is very important to be creative and innovate. There is no doubt that the vast majority of the workforce is well aware what is expected on the job today. However, only 18 pct. believe they are very creative and innovative in their job. This indicates a serious imbalance that to a large extent has to do with weak innovation conditions in the workplaces and a lack of innovative competencies. As a result, only 14 pct. state that they produce new ideas very often, again in sharp contrast to the perceived need in their job to do so.

Creativity drive
The creative and innovative workplace needs each individual to be aware of the need for being just that – creative and innovative. Without that awareness and sense of necessity, the initiative to innovate is most likely to be weak in the workplace.

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On average, 60 pct. of the Nordic entrepreneurs find it very important to be creative and innovative in their job. There are important differences between the countries, though. 85 pct. of the Swedish entrepreneurs find it very important to be creative and innovative, while the same is true of 68 pct. of the Danish, 44 pct. of the Norwegian and 42 pct. of the Finnish entrepreneurs. Obviously, the innovativeness in the new businesses and workplaces is much lower in Finland and Norway, than in Sweden in particular. This is an indication of a weak entrepreneurial culture, the entrepreneurs traditionally being the leaders of innovation. 54 pct. of the managers find it very important to be creative and innovative in their jobs. That’s close to the level of entrepreneurs and thus a good indicator that the mindset among managers is on level with the entrepreneurs, representing the most dynamic group of the workforce. Also here we find significant differences between the countries, again Sweden leading with 71 pct. of the managers finding it very important to be creative and innovative, while 63 pct. of the Danes, 44 pct. of the Norwegian and 41 pct. of the Finnish managers share that view. Among the employees, 36 pct. of the Nordic workforce find it very important to be creative and innovative, again with the same differences as with entrepreneurs – 53 pct. of Swedes, 44 pct. of Danes, 24 pct. of Norwegians and 21 pct. of the Finns find it very important. Clearly, there are shared national mindsets of the importance of innovation, among entrepreneurs, managers and employees alike. The difference between the three groups is the same in the four countries, only with a difference in the level. The Swedish and Danish workforces seem to be more tuned to the urgency of innovation. However,
How important is it to be creative and innovative in your job?
Response: "Very important”
% 100 85

75 63

71

68 60 54 53 44 36 24 44 42 57

70 58 49 38 29 42 34 25 27 27 50 41 59

56 51 42 36 45

50

44

41

25

21

22

0

Managers

Employees

Entrepreneurs

Small organisations

Large org.

Private org.

Public org.

Data: 6.003 employed respondants in the Nordic countries Source: INNOVATIONinside and Userneeds

Denmark

Sweden

Norway

Finland

All - mean

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there is room for improving the focus on innovation, especially among the employees – which to a large extent is the motivational task of management. Smaller workplaces tend to find it more important to be creative and innovative, although the difference is not significant. The importance of ideas is understood in all workplaces. Also, there is no significant difference between the private and public workplaces.

Creative ability
Realizing that being creative and innovative is important is one thing. Delivering on the necessity is another. When asked how creative and innovative you are in your job, the level of the most positive answers drops quite significantly. Overall, only 29 pct. of the entrepreneurs think that they are very creative and innovative in their job. That’s half as many as find it very important to be that. Obviously, the ability to be creative and innovative doesn’t match the need. The national differences resemble the differences of the previous statement – 46 pct. of the Swedish entrepreneurs think they are creative, 40 pct. of the Danish, only 17 pct. of the Norwegian and 14 pct. of the Finnish. Among managers, 24 pct. think they are very creative and innovative in their job. Again, that’s less than half that think it is very important to be that. Swedes top with 34 pct., Danes follow with 26 pct., Norwegians 18 pct. and Finnish managers 17 pct.

How creative and innovative are you in your job?
Response: "Very much”
% 75

50 40 34

46 38 29 26 32 26 17 14 17 16 16 13 10 24 21 16 15 14 10 9 20 19 15 30 23

25

24 18 17 16

23 15 10 10

0

Managers

Employees

Entrepreneurs

Small organisations

Large org.

Private org.

Public org.

Data: 6.003 employed respondants in the Nordic countries Source: INNOVATIONinside and Userneeds

Denmark

Sweden

Norway

Finland

All - mean

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And only 15 pct. of the employees think they are very creative and innovative in their job. Again, less than half of the numbers that believes it important to be creative and innovative. And again, the Swedes top with 23 pct., the Danes follow with 16 pct., the Norwegians and Finns with 10 pct. each. The difference between the perceived need to be creative and the perceived ability to deliver indicates that there is a need for more innovation competencies in the Nordic workplaces. To compete efficiently in the world economy the gap between what is needed and what is delivered should be diminished by raising the level of performance. Again, smaller workplaces tend to be more creative and innovative. The difference between the private and public workplaces is, however, not significant.

Ideas
One way to measure creativity is to look at the output in terms of ideas. When asked how often you get work-related ideas, the answers – not surprisingly - closely resemble the level of the previous answer as to how creative and innovative you are. Overall, 28 pct. of the entrepreneurs reply that they get new ideas very often. This is true of 38 pct. of the Swedish and 36 pct. of the Danish entrepreneurs, while of 22 pct. and 16 pct. of the Norwegian and Finnish entrepreneurs. Among managers, 21 pct. say they get ideas very often. The Danish managers top with 26 pct., trailed by the Swedish with 22 pct. and Norwegian with 21 pct., while only
How often do you get work related ideas?
Response: "Very often”
% 75

50 36 38

26 25 22 21 13 21 12 14 10 6 0 10 22 16

28 23

27 20 13 21 15 14 14 6 12 17 18 16 17

15 9

15

13 6

13

Managers

Employees

Entrepreneurs

Small organisations

Large org.

Private org.

Public org.

Data: 6.003 employed respondants in the Nordic countries Source: INNOVATIONinside and Userneeds

Denmark

Sweden

Norway

Finland

All - mean

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13 pct. of the Finnish managers get ideas very often. In the ability to get work related ideas, the managers are much more level across the countries, with Finland as the notable exception. Only 10 pct. of the employees get ideas very often. Swedes get the most with 14 pct., Danes closely trailing with 12 pct., Norwegians with 10 pct. and Finns with 6 pct. The gap between the need to be creative and innovative, and the actual production of ideas, is quite wide. Clearly, the conditions in the workplaces for being creative and competing on ideas should be strengthened.

4. The Management
Individual
Satisfaction Empowerment Influence

Management
Initiative
Creativity Ideas

Organization
Culture Openness Flexibility Evaluation

Idea reception Attentiveness Feedback Usage

Processes
Cooperation Involvement Procedures

Success
KPI

Management plays an important role as facilitators of the creative process. The managers – whether middle management or top management - must be receptive to ideas, see to it that everybody in the workplace knows where to go with their ideas, secure feedback on all ideas – whether good or bad – and put good ideas to use. If these management tasks are not performed, the motivation to produce ideas will diminish in the workplace. The Nordic managers are in general attentive to the ideas in the workplace. 60 pct. of the employees respond that management often listens to their ideas. However, when asked whether management listens every time, the number drops to 10 pct. Obviously, there are inconsistencies in the way ideas are treated. Prudent idea management is open to all ideas, not just some ideas from some individuals. Overall, most people in the Nordic workplaces know where to go when they have an idea. 54 pct. of the managers and 39 pct. of the employees strongly agree that they know where to turn when they have an idea. However, only 25 pct. of the managers and 17 pct. of the employees strongly agree that they get feedback on their ideas. No doubt, the feedback needs to be improved. Ideally everybody should be rewarded for an idea with feedback. Lack of feedback is

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a signal of lack of interest, it demotivates the idea generation and prevents learning. Obviously, management has not fostered a strong feedback culture, making sure that internal and external competencies are engaged in qualifying the idea. Ideas in the Nordic workplaces are often used. Few agree that all of their ideas are used, which is not to be expected – not all ideas are great or possible to execute - but 77 pct. of the managers and 54 pct. of the employees say that their ideas are used often, which is a positive indicator.

Management attentiveness
It is important for the management to be attentive and open to the ideas that are produced in the workplace. This encourages the production of ideas and the sharing of ideas and knowledge. 57 pct. of the entrepreneurs reply that management always listens to their ideas. Adding those that reply “often” the percentage is close to 100. This is hardly surprising, since the entrepreneurs often are the management of the company, although some have partners or a board. There are only small differences in this between the countries. 21 pct. of the managers say that management – being managerial colleagues, top management or the board – always listens to their ideas. This is more surprising, since managers typically have a responsibility in running the workplace – yet only one in five says that top management always listens. Only 10 pct. of the employees say that management always listens to their ideas. This low number should give rise to concern. The answers clearly illustrate that openness to ideas drop hierarchically – the more power the individual has, the more attention the ideas get. This is not an ideal workplace culture. Business history documents that many great ideas spring from employees with no management position. Clearly, Nordic management should address the imbalance. There are not significant national variations in the answers, although Sweden seems to perform poorly with only 11 pct. of the managers and 4 pct. of the employees agreeing that management always listens to them. There is, however, a very significant difference between small and large workplaces. 33 pct. of the respondents in small workplaces agree that their ideas always get at-

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tention, while only 10 pct. agree in large workplaces. In Sweden, the numbers are 34 pct. and 3 pct., indicating a serious innovation barrier in the large workplaces. Also, respondents in private workplaces get about twice as much attention to their ideas as respondents in public workplaces.

How often does management listen to your ideas?
Response: "Always/every time"
% 75 65 57 49 57 57

50

38 34 26 25 21 16 11 11 4 0 9 10 12 7 3 18 10 4 28 24 19 14 19 19 14 15 10 11 33 33

25

22

Managers

Employees

Entrepreneurs

Small organisations

Large org.

Private org.

Public org.

Data: 6.003 employed respondants in the Nordic countries Source: INNOVATIONinside and Userneeds

Denmark

Sweden

Norway

Finland

All - mean

Idea delivery
Having an idea is one thing. Knowing what to do with it and where to turn to is the first step towards innovation. 71 pct. of the Nordic entrepreneurs strongly agree that they know where to take their idea. Again, this is hardly surprising, since they often represent the management of the workplace. However, some ideas may extend beyond the scope of the workplace demanding involvement from external parties, creating uncertainty as to how to proceed with the idea. 54 pct. of the managers strongly agree that they know where to take their idea. The difference between managers and entrepreneurs may be puzzling, since managers are supposed to be familiar with the organizational structure and responsibilities in the workplace. This is, however, obviously not the case in many workplaces. 39 pct. of the employees strongly agree that they know where go with their ideas. This illustrates that the further down in the workplace hierarchy, the less clear is the

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path of an idea. Obviously, the structures and processes of idea development need to be strengthened. There are no important national variations in the responses. There is, however, a clear tendency that respondents working in small workplaces have a better knowledge about where to take their idea, than respondents in large workplaces. Also, respondents in private workplaces have a better understanding of the path of an idea than respondents in public workplaces.

Statement: I know where to take my new ideas
Response: "Agree very much"
% 100 82 75 75 65 61 53 55 52 54 54 50 35 44 39 37 39 34 71 62 57 54 42 44 39 34 37 70 61 52 49 44

47 36

45 38 38 39

25

0

Managers

Employees

Entrepreneurs

Small organisations

Large org.

Private org.

Public org.

Data: 6.003 employed respondants in the Nordic countries Source: INNOVATIONinside and Userneeds

Denmark

Sweden

Norway

Finland

All - mean

Feedback
Getting feedback on an idea is an important motivation for the individual. Ideas that are delivered, but left to an unknown fate with no feedback as to whether they are good or bad, demotivates the idea production. 50 pct. of the entrepreneurs strongly agree that they always get feedback on their ideas. Adding those that agree, the number is above 80 pct. In the case of the entrepreneur, feedback most likely stems from a number of sources, internal and external, the entrepreneur actively seeking feedback, which reflects an innovative workplace environment. 25 pct. of the managers strongly agree that they get feedback on their ideas. Ideally there should not be such a big difference between entrepreneurs and managers. This indicates that managers are not seeking feedback as much as the entrepreneurs, sug-

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gesting a less innovative workplace environment, not mobilizing the full potential of internal and external competencies in the idea process. 17 pct. of the employees strongly agree that they get feedback on their ideas. Since providing feedback is a management responsibility, this illustrates that management could improve the feedback-process substantially, thus motivating and qualifying the idea production to a greater degree. There are no significant national differences in the responses. However, respondents working in small workplaces tend to get more feedback – about twice as much – as respondents in large workplaces. Also, respondents in private workplaces get more feedback than respondents in public workplaces.

I get feedback on my ideas
Response: "Agree very much"
% 75 62 56 50 50 46 40 35 30 27 25 23 20 25 18 20 15 16 17 17 13 19 14 16 13 33 30 26 25 25 19 24 20 19 17 17 45 37

0

Managers

Employees

Entrepreneurs

Small organisations

Large org.

Private org.

Public org.

Data: 6.003 employed respondants in the Nordic countries Source: INNOVATIONinside and Userneeds

Denmark

Sweden

Norway

Finland

All - mean

Idea usage
Good ideas need to be used. If not, the motivation to produce ideas diminishes and the workplace will of course not benefit from the potential of the idea. 32 pct. of the entrepreneurs reply that all their ideas are put to use. Adding those that reply that their ideas are used often, the number climbs to 93 pct. Provided that the ideas have been evaluated and tested this implies a high quality of the ideas and a highly productive usage of ideas. Only 4 pct. of the managers reply that all their ideas are used. Adding those that reply often used, the number climbs to 77 pct.

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Merely 2 pct. of the employees reply that all their ideas are put to use. Adding those that reply often used, the number is 54 pct., however. In spite of lacking attentiveness and poor feedback, many of the ideas produced are put to use in the Nordic workplaces. It is not to be expected that all ideas are used – not all ideas are great. Fewer Finnish employees find that their ideas are used – 39 pct. say often or always, while in Denmark and Norway this is true of 64 pct. and 61 pct. of the employees, and 52 pct. in Sweden. The same variation is true of the managers. There is a huge difference between small and large workplaces, though. It is 15 times as likely for a respondent in a small workplace to have her or his idea put to use than it is for a respondent in a large workplace. 15 pct. of the respondents in small workplaces say their ideas are used every time, while only 1 pct. in large workplaces. Also, respondents in private workplaces are about twice as likely to have their ideas used as respondents in public workplaces.

My ideas are being used
Response: "Every time"
% 75

50 36 32

36

34

25

21 15

19

16 10

15 5 7 7 6 2

3 0

5

4

4

4

2

2

1 2

2

1 2

5

1 1

1

3

1

2

2

Managers

Employees

Entrepreneurs

Small organisations

Large org.

Private org.

Public org.

Data: 6.003 employed respondants in the Nordic countries Source: INNOVATIONinside and Userneeds

Denmark

Sweden

Norway

Finland

All - mean

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5. The Processes
Individual
Satisfaction Empowerment Influence

Management Initiative
Creativity Ideas Idea reception Attentiveness Feedback Usage

Processes
Cooperation Involvement Procedures
Success
KPI

Organization
Culture Openness Flexibility Evaluation

It is important for the development of ideas and innovation that there are clear processes for working with ideas as well as innovation projects. Internally it is important to involve the relevant competencies across fields of expertise and organizational boundaries to ensure that all relevant knowledge is leveraged in producing and processing an idea. Externally relevant stakeholders should also be involved, in particular customers and suppliers. Only 8 pct. strongly agree that there are clear procedures for how to work with new ideas in their workplace. Even when adding those that agree, the number is below 50 pct. Clearly, the Nordic workplaces need to develop much better and transparent processes for working with ideas. Otherwise creativity and motivation to produce ideas may lag, good ideas may never be developed and innovation projects may lack the necessary quality to produce success. 19 pct. strongly agree that everybody works well across fields of expertise and organizational boundaries in the workplace. This is not an impressive number and indicates that cooperation could well be stronger in the Nordic workplaces and competencies are not leveraged very well in promoting innovation. Only 10 pct. strongly agree that customers are involved in the innovation process and 8 pct. strongly agree that suppliers are involved. Obviously, external partners are not well integrated into the innovation process of the Nordic workplaces, indicating a loss of ideas and knowledge that may very well increase the potential for success. The numbers are surprisingly low considering user-driven innovation – involving the customer in the innovation process – often is cited a particular Nordic innovation discipline.

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Methods
It is important for the innovation output that there are clear processes at the workplace for working with ideas and innovation projects. This ensures that ideas are evaluated and that innovation projects have the competencies and resources that are needed to develop an idea into a successful innovation. 26 pct. of the entrepreneurs strongly agree that there are clear procedures for working with ideas in their workplace. Adding the respondents replying agree, the number exceeds 50 pct. Although entrepreneurs stand out as the best in creating a workplace that supports innovation, many lack formal standards for processing the ideas. Obviously, there is room to enhance the quality of the innovation processes. However, only 8 pct. of the managers and 6 pct. of the employees strongly agree that there are clear procedures for working with ideas at their workplace. This is much lower than the responses from the entrepreneurs and illustrates a broad lack of clarity in the Nordic workplaces about how to compete efficiently on ideas. It is hard to imagine that there would be no procedures for how to produce a component at a factory or how to clean an office building. Yet few have made it clear how to produce ideas. There is little variation between the countries, yet the Swedish entrepreneurs stand out as the most systematic in their approach to working with ideas – 47 pct. strongly agree that they have clear procedures.

Statement: We have procedures for working with innovation
Response: "Agree very much"
% 75

50

47

31 24 25 11 7 6 19 14 9 8 11 7 6 6 4 6 10 12 26

16 8 5 9 2 10 6

14

11 6

10 5 5 5 3 5

0

Managers

Employees

Entrepreneurs

Small organisations

Large org.

Private org.

Public org.

Data: 6.003 employed respondants in the Nordic countries Source: INNOVATIONinside and Userneeds

Denmark

Sweden

Norway

Finland

All - mean

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There is a significant difference between small and large workplaces. On average, 16 pct. strongly agree to clear procedures in small workplaces, while 6 pct. agree in large. Sweden stands out as the country with the greatest difference. 31 pct. strongly agree in small workplaces and only 5 pct. strongly agree in large workplaces that there are clear procedures for working with ideas. There is also a significant difference between private and public workplaces. Twice as many strongly agree to clear procedures in the private workplaces, than in the public.

Cooperation
Innovation demands a free flow of ideas and knowledge across fields of expertise and organizational boundaries. By ensuring that all competencies contribute to the innovation process, success is more likely. 44 pct. of the entrepreneurs strongly agree that everybody works well across fields of expertise and organizational boundaries in the workplace. This is an indication of good cooperation and a workplace that leverages competencies well. 22 pct. of the managers and 16 pct. of the employees strongly agree that everybody works well across fields of expertise and organizational boundaries in the workplace. Clearly, cooperation is weaker and the utilization of the competencies in the workplace is lower in other workplaces than the entrepreneurial.

Statement: We work well across sections and professions
Response: "Agree very much"
% 75

57 47 43

50

44 39 34 33 24 33 23 26 22 18 12 14 17 10 16 15 14

25 25 18

26 21 22 17 17 14 15 16

29 19 15 12 22

0

Managers

Employees

Entrepreneurs

Small organisations

Large org.

Private org.

Public org.

Data: 6.003 employed respondants in the Nordic countries Source: INNOVATIONinside and Userneeds

Denmark

Sweden

Norway

Finland

All - mean

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There are no significant variations between the countries, although Swedish entrepreneurs excel with 57 pct. and the Finnish lag with 29 pct. However, there is a difference between small and large workplaces, the smaller cooperating about twice as well as the larger. Also, cooperation is better at private workplaces than public.

External involvement
No single workplace may presume to possess all the competencies that may contribute to developing an idea into a successful innovation. External agents, such as customers and suppliers, often have fresh views, untapped ideas and hidden knowledge about processes and products. Therefore, it is wise to engage those in the innovation process, strengthening the potential of success. 18 pct. of the entrepreneurs involve customers to a high degree in the innovation process and 23 pct. involve suppliers to a high degree. Although one in five cooperates closely with prime partners of the workplace, there is clearly room for increasing the cooperation, harvesting the ideas and the knowledge these partners may contribute.

Statement: We involve customers in development of new products
Response: "Agree very much”
% 75

50

25 15 7 13 12 12

23 19 10 7 17 18 15 15 13 14 13 14 11 5 9 16 6 8 10 13

7 7

8

10

13 5 3 4 6 4

0

Managers

Employees

Entrepreneurs

Small organisations

Large org.

Private org.

Public org.

Data: 6.003 employed respondants in the Nordic countries Source: INNOVATIONinside and Userneeds

Denmark

Sweden

Norway

Finland

All - mean

12 pct. of the managers and 8 pct. of the employees strongly agree that customers are involved in the innovation process, while 10 pct. of the managers and 6 pct. of the employees strongly agree that suppliers are involved in the innovation process. These numbers are clearly very low and illustrate a need for strengthening the cooperation

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Statement: We involve suppliers in development of new products
Response: "Agree very much”
% 75

50

27 26 25 25 14 10 8 10 10 7 6 7 4 6 14

23 15 16 10 13 7 10 5 5 7 14 7 4 3

13

12 11

11 4 4 4

0

Managers

Employees

Entrepreneurs

Small organisations

Large org.

Private org.

Public org.

Data: 6.003 employed respondants in the Nordic countries Source: INNOVATIONinside and Userneeds

Denmark

Sweden

Norway

Finland

All - mean

with the prime external partners in order to exploit their ideas and knowledge for successful innovation. There are not significant variations between the countries, except Finnish entrepreneurs involve external partners less than their colleagues, especially when it comes to suppliers. Also Swedish workplaces in general seem to involve external parties less than others. Small workplaces are better at involving external partners than large. It is about twice as common to involve them in small workplaces as in large. Private workplaces are much better at involving customers and suppliers than public. It is about four times as common for private workplaces to engage these external partners in the innovation efforts as it is for public workplaces.

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About the Survey
The survey about innovative force in the Nordic countries is completed in cooperation with Innovation Inside and Userneeds. Userneeds is responsible for the collection of data, which has been carried out from 1 to 18 December 2009 through an online questionnaire. The approach taken by Userneeds to collect information about the innovative force in 2010 is described in the following. The survey about innovative force among Nordic citizens aged 18 to 65 is conducted among members of Userneeds’ Nordic online panels. All in all 15,368 members of the Nordic panel have been invited to participate in the survey. Only panelists who fulfil the criterion for the target group have been able to answer the questionnaire. The criteria to be fulfilled were that the panelists were between 18-65 years of age and employed. The group of people of 15,368 has been chosen so that they make up a representative sample of the populations of the 4 Nordic countries. People, who had not answered the survey within 2 days after receiving it, were sent a reminder by e-mail. The e-mail reminded the panelist that he/she was still able to participate in the survey, and that his/her participation was of great importance. Data has been collected without the use of quotas, and the collection of data ended when there was a sufficient amount of answers. After this, the data was adapted in order to match the demographic make-up of each country in terms of age, gender and geographic regions among people aged 18-65. The adaptation of data has been carried out through the professional survey software Catglobe. Userneeds has delivered 4 data files, one for each country, with 1,500 answers. Altogether they provide representative samples of the 4 countries’ population. The answers are collected after the following procedure: Userneeds has invited 15,368 people to participate in the survey. From this number 6,454 people have started the survey (response rate = 42 pct.). Out of the 6,454 people who have started the survey 6,003 have completed the survey and 451 have dropped out before answering all questions. This gives an impressive completion rate of 93 per cent.

The Nordic consumer panels
Userneeds has consumer panels in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland. The Nordic consumer panels have existed since 2003, and now hold more than 250,000 panelists.

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The Nordic panelists have been recruited from more than 500 private and public web sites. This broad platform of recruitment ensures a reasonable spread in terms of the interests, life styles, socio demographic characteristics and values of the panelists. It is not possible to sign up for the panels, since one must be invited personally to join any of Userneeds’ panels. The process of recruitment for Userneeds’ panels is well documented and stringent. When someone accepts an invitation to become a member of the panel, he/she enters some very basic data about themselves, such as gender, birth year, region, occupation and e-mail address. Immediately after, an invitation is sent to the e-mail address inviting the person to become a member of the panel. The e-mail also contains a link to a questionnaire, where the new panelist is asked to reenter the data he/she has previously entered and additional information such as level of income, level of education and number of children. Only if the information corresponds with the previously registered data, the person is accepted into the panel.

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This report has been produced by Innovation Inside,a development company committed to strengthening the innovation culture. For further information please contact
Mikael R. Lindholm, director Tel: +45 20409526 E-mail: mrl@innovationinside.dk W: www.innovationinside.dk

Important contributors to the report are
Søren Salomo, professor of innovation management at

DTU Executive School of Business, Denmark - e-mail: soren@business.dtu.dk Jørn Haugaard, consultant at KOAN, Denmark – e-mail: Jorn@koan.dk The survey and data processing has been produced by Userneeds, for further information please contact
Henrik Vincentz, CEO Gl. Kongevej 118 2000 Frederiksberg Denmark Tel: +45 28897575 E-mail: henrik@userneeds.dk W: www.userneeds.dk

56 The Rise of the Creative Masses

INNOVATIONinside
H v i s d u v i l m e s t r e n y t æ n k i n g

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