Using innovation to improve performance
A Design Council case study

Below is a list of Business Case Studies case studies organised alphabetically by company. To view more companies, please choose a letter from the list below.

Page 2: Developing an innovative culture

Organisations are as unique as nations, societies and people. Each has its own set of values, beliefs and ways of doing things - its personality. Together, these create the culture of the organisation. An organisation’s culture develops and changes over time. This process of change needs to be managed.

A key feature of culture involves fostering the personal and professional development of employees. This means involving them all in processes of innovation that challenge them and which at the same time make the business environment motivating and inspirational. Leaders of organisations that constantly innovate recognise that developing a well-managed process of innovation has a positive and creative effect upon the organisation’s ability to meet customers’ needs. This in turn enables the organisation to perform better in markets while also meeting higher financial expectations.

By developing a culture of innovation, organisations can:


  • inspire their workforce and
  • create products and services that connect effectively with customers and markets.


Building a culture of innovation involves leaders and senior managers giving individuals a clear mission that they understand. Individuals also need the freedom to perform and to be creative with their ideas and approaches to design and innovation. Many employees like to work in an environment that is demanding, empowering, inspirational, challenging and supportive.


Organisations use a range of techniques and approaches to create innovative products and services. Such companies finance processes of innovation that may involve taking considerable, carefully calculated risks. Innovation often involves assigning staff to teams that are encouraged to use design and good ideas as a basis for breaking new ground. 


Using the creative processes associated with design and innovation enables organisations to focus upon, connect with and even anticipate customers’ needs. In this way, innovation provides opportunities for organisations to stay close to their customers. By regularly reviewing their markets and by generating or fine-tuning innovative products, firms are able to develop a competitive advantage over other organisations within the same markets.

Design Council | Using innovation to improve performance