"Innovation must be at the service of business and corporate culture", Nicolás Zilic, Deputy Manager of Innovation at Sura AM

Sura, a Latin American holding company, with a strategic focus on the diverse financial services sector, through the Deputy Manager of Innovation, Nicolas Zilic, tells us the importance of involving the entire organization in the innovation process of the company, “At SURA AM we understand the importance of innovation as a means of transformation and generation of well-being, which is why we have been working on implementing an Experimental Culture that allows us to promote a flexible, adaptable and innovative culture.

For the above, we seek to make innovation a permanent condition, which requires networking and the motivation and commitment of human talent. In extremely changing environments, we are convinced that collaborators are a fundamental piece to generate great changes. Those institutions focused solely on efficiency and maximization of returns are going to have a complex future, since the current context requires us to guide the transformation of businesses through the capacity for reinvention, questioning and permanent reflection by each of the members of our organizations.

Innovation must then be conceived as a capacity to generate new styles of leadership and work, leveraging more flexible and dynamic organizational cultures. Having innovation as a strategic priority is not enough; progress must be made in having a system and governance that provide a clear and defined framework for its decentralization within the company. I firmly believe that it will be those companies that understand the need to unlearn, open up to failure, manage uncertainty and foster cultures of constant experimentation who will effectively emerge strengthened from the new contexts in which we travel ”.

As for what they are the key factors for a successful long-term program, Nicolás informs us that “In my experience I believe that the most relevant when it comes to managing corporate innovation models is associated with soft skills and political management within the organization, without neglecting, of course, the strategic vision and technical capabilities that are required to successfully carry out the conceptualization and implementation of innovation models. In Chile, corporate innovation is still relatively incipient, so those of us who participate in these spaces must manage the transitions between still classic profiles with a fixed mentality and focused on the operation, towards a growth mentality (Growth Mindset) that allows generating adaptive organizations , with more holistic models that promote permanent transformation processes. Being able to develop critical and divergent thinking, fostering styles of thinking based on the Growth Mindset, the ability to manage risk and a willingness to fail as a means of learning, in addition to cultivating a more open and human-centered leadership, are all points. that favor and encourage innovation at the corporate level ”.

In this same line, the key objectives that have been set for the program they are launching, He tells us “There is a phrase that I like a lot from the CEO of Bancolombia that says that“ Innovation is not objectives, but rather a means that enables a purpose, seeking to do things better or in a different way; it is an attitude of being dissatisfied with what one does ”. This phrase represents me completely, innovation must be a means that enables the transformation and generation of value and that consequently brings concrete benefits to all its actors.

That said, corporate innovation programs also require, as in all areas, to have a set of KPI's and specific objectives that help to achieve the goals and quantify the impact at the corporate level. In our case, we started with a very powerful focus on the development of culture, where we seek to install capacities in our collaborators to face the problems of our business in a different way, creating a culture and ecosystem of Innovation that allows us to bring our clients closer to the fulfillment of your goals and dreams. Our Experimental Culture model has allowed us to create an ecosystem of learning and continuous experimentation, seeking to enable the development and reconversion of capacities. These new ways of working lead us to promote a mindset aimed at permanent transformation and reinvention. Therefore, through the corporate model of innovation, we seek to transcend technological and digital advances. Our main motivation is to continue advancing in what we believe should remain at the center of our culture and management: people ”.

Finally, Nicolás delivers these important advice to companies who have not yet taken the step to implement an innovation program within their organizations “it is essential to have robust and accurate diagnoses that allow the generation of programs that are designed and co-created for the specific needs and characteristics of the business and its human talent. Probably the bulk of the companies that today manage innovation have been implementing innovation enabler programs, talks, demo days, challenges among others, however, it is necessary that these programs are not generated as a copy of theoretical models, but rather look for a strategic and cultural fit regarding the reality of each organization. Innovation must be at the service of the business and the corporate culture to generate the commitment and connection of all ”.

If you are looking to implement innovation models in a systemic way and impact the culture within your company, learn more here

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