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In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, leaders are being asked to both grow and transform their businesses. Whether it’s responding to new market opportunities, changing customer demands, or disruptive start-ups; the reasons to evolve are numerous. Exactly how you achieve growth and transformation at the same time, is a challenge that many struggle with.

Innovation is key, but not every company can (or even should) be an Apple or a Google. With so many flavours of innovation to choose from it can be challenging to know which will work best for your company and how to enable it.

Cultural barriers

Research from McKinsey shows that just 26% of transformations meet their objectives, while 70% fail due to resistance or low employee engagement. Such resistance is often due to cultural barriers like lack of trust, fear of failure, resistance to new ideas, and reluctance to challenge the status quo. This underscores the significance of culture in successful transformation.

In fact, a survey by the Katzenbach Center found that 84% of executives and analysts believed that culture was critical but only 30% said that their organizations managed culture effectively. This suggests that while many businesses are aware of the importance of culture, they are struggling to put in place the necessary strategies and processes to manage it effectively.

A behavioural approach

According to Aristotle, “We are what we repeatedly do.” It is a maxim that definitely applies to cultures, which are shaped and reinforced by behaviour. CultureScope offers a framework to understand and assess those behaviours at both the personal and organisational level. This allows us to understand both how people behave and also the context in which they behave.

When one of our clients asked for help with their innovation efforts, we took a behavioural approach to find the solution. Using CultureScope, we analysed the personal and organisational behaviours to understand what might be holding them back.

These perspectives enabled us to develop a model that identified innovation barriers in either the people or the place.


Every culture is different, so the first step was to define what they meant by innovation. This gave us two contrasting behavioural definitions for tactical innovation (problem solving in the here and now) and strategic innovation (transforming the organisation).

We analysed the collected responses of people working in their innovation unit and those whose line managers had recognised as being innovative. Both populations aligned with the behavioural traits of strategic innovation.

The organisational behaviour showed clearly that while the personal behaviours were present, the place was holding back strategic innovation. To realise their ambition, these people needed a radically different context in which to succeed.

The result

Presented with the insight the Executive Committee recognised that for strategic innovation to work, the company had to think differently about how to structure, organise and reward innovators compared to the wider company.

The clarity we provided enabled our client to understand:

  • The behaviours that drove the different types of innovation they needed
  • How to balance the types of people they needed in each camp;
  • Where to focus their change efforts (on the people or place),;
  • How best to manage the tension between growing the business and transforming it
  • Who their innovator community really was and what they needed to succeed.

Whether it is growing your organisation or transforming it, we are driven by the belief that culture should be the hero and not the villain. CultureScope’s mission is simple: combine the best elements of scientific and applied research to develop and deploy behavioural diagnostic and predictive analytical tools to help organisations achieve their mission.

Hani Nabeel

Hani Nabeel is the Chief Behavioural Scientist at iPsychTec, a world leading People Analytics and Behavioural Science company. Hani has over 20 years’ experience in delivering Leadership & Talent Management Consulting services and quantitative behavioural research. He is the architect and founder of the award winning and ground-breaking CultureScope behavioural analytics platform for scientifically measuring and embedding organisation’s desired culture using predictive analytics and actionable insights.