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Creating a Corporate Culture of Innovation: A Conversation with Matt Bennett

Posted By: SGK January 01, 2014

Matt Bennett has done a lot of thinking about how successful businesses with ambitious brands drive innovation. He spent many years as a packaging innovation manager at Coors Brewers, building a strong creative-thinking-and-innovation culture across many business functions. Today he’s a Senior Vice President at SGK with responsibilities for growth strategies, product development and innovation. So he takes a broad view: innovation’s not just about employing creative and technical specialists tasked with delivering new and differentiated products.

For Bennett, innovation is everyone’s job, and corporations need to foster a culture that encourages every employee and every team to engage in creative, collaborative thinking every day. 

“A lot of companies look at innovation as a specialty. I totally disagree with that,” says Bennett. “I believe that if you want to generate a corporate culture of innovation, you have to make innovation a core competence for everybody, not a specialist’s practice.”

According to him, an individual may have core competencies in communication skills, project management skills, leadership skills. But whatever core competencies they have, every employee in the organization should also be expected to demonstrate and apply innovation skills.

Patterns spoke with Bennett to explore the role of innovation in a vibrant and productive workplace. Download the latest issue of Patterns for Matt Bennett’s Q&A on grassroots innovation opportunities, the biggest barriers to innovation and more!