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Company culture — the latest barrier to innovation

As an abstract notion, “culture” can be extremely difficult to define, and one person’s definition may be hugely different to another’s. But by and large in a business setting, culture is often defined by the everyday behaviours of those who work there. Much of it is driven by the company’s heritage, with those at the top of the tree having a big influence over the overall culture of the organisation.

Culture can be a massive factor in an organisation’s commercial success. But it can also be a hindrance. Samsung recently commissioned research with electronics engineers in Europe to find out what was hindering their innovation efforts, and nearly a third (28%) said that one of the biggest barriers was culture. So what aspect of company culture is holding back innovation?

Leaving innovation to chance

According to those electronics engineers, it’s not necessarily a “bad” culture or a “toxic” workplace. It’s simply the lack of process to foster innovative thinking. 55% admit that innovation in their organisation relies on “casual collaboration” with colleagues, while 28% rely on lightbulb moments. Only a third say they have a formalised and structured workflow to encourage innovation. As a result, over a third (39%) believe that innovation has slowed over the past couple of years.

Changing culture is not simple, but organisations can take inspiration from technology that’s on the horizon to set themselves up for success. Technologies like 5G are going to revolutionise how we connect to everything while unleashing a whole new set of applications. Artificial intelligence is going to make technology around us smarter. The internet of things is going to become even more densely populated and connected. The vision of the connected vehicle is going to become more of a reality.

These technologies have the power to change almost every organisation — not just the tech world. Organisations should be looking at how these technologies can provide a platform on which to drive their own innovation.

Samsung, everywhere

At Samsung, we understand the importance of company culture in driving innovation forward. We actively create an environment in which all our employees feel empowered to innovate and make their voices heard. To that end, we recently relocated our EMEA headquarters to Munich, Germany.

In Munich, we are at the heart of technology in central Europe, aligning with how we are also at the heart of all new technologies, from the silicon within devices, to the networks that connect them, at the cloud and at the edge.

Samsung is one of the few companies whose expertise spans the technology spectrum, which means we’re in a unique position to design anything and everything with the bigger picture in mind, and ensure new technology works together seamlessly. Intelligence, connectivity and experience are our three key pillars to driving the technology world forward, paving the way for organisations in any sector to build a platform of innovation and foster new ways of thinking and creativity.

Flowing throughout each of these three pillars are innovation and trust. These two facets have helped Samsung develop over the course of 50 years into the company it is today, and we have no intention of changing course for the next chapter in our existence.

To find out more about how Samsung is helping businesses all around the world innovate, visit our website at