How a Culture of Warmth Enables Innovation

by Feb 22, 2021

Business Innovation Brief Best Article

Creativity and the innovative problem-solving abilities of employees should be fostered from the inside. While manifesting ideas require a lot of structure and a high degree of adherence to deadlines, a truly innovative organization provides its employee enough room to make strides in areas that have yet to be explored.

Warmth enables the emergence of novel and new ideas in the workplace to become commonplace, making the entire process of working more productive and efficient.

More rigid organizations whose primary motive and long-term goal is to avoid as much risk as possible in their respective markets stifle employees by not tolerating any novel approaches. They tend to stick to the basics and the standard procedures of doing things (AKA best practices) preferring old school methods with the lowest risk.

Build A Positive Culture

To create a work culture that is both comfortable and challenging, where every member feels free enough to express new ideas and unique approaches to new problems, is challenging. 

The challenges are big, and you will need a lot of positive actions across the leadership and among employees. In the end of it all, however, research maintains that the main elements that you should maintain in an organization are the following:

● Warmth in the organization in its daily working

● A long-term future solution and vision that employees and the leadership can voluntarily get behind

● A greater tolerance for failures or ambiguity in goals and assigned tasks

As a member of the organization you belong to (does not matter whether you are a leader or an employee), you must be the one who takes up the responsibility to influence the organization’s culture in a positive way.

“Every person in the organization is equally responsible for enabling a positive culture.”

Warmth Promotes Innovative Thinking

The temperature of the workplace cannot be measured by scientific instruments. It can only be measured in terms of how supportive and approachable employees feel towards each other during the course of the work week.

The amiability of employees in their interactions with each other gives the feeling of whether the organization is cold or warm. A cold workplace is the one where employees are highly serious and competitive, even sometimes withdrawn from others around them.

Although cold organizations can be very productive, organized, formal and efficient, they are not places where creativity can bloom, and new ideas do not find their place for active implementation.

The warm temperature of an organization is where employees can foster collaborations and creativity without fear of rejection or ridicule.

“Fostering a warm temperature in the workplace comes with a lot of inherent advantages.”

These warm institutions often incorporate a lot of social interactions between employees. Employees might feel that the administration or their direct superiors or supervisors are on their side and want them to succeed in life and in the workplace.

“Warm organizations care about people’s success across every aspect of their lives, not just at work.”

Warm organizations also have a relationship factor to them as they are breeding grounds for professional work relationships that are often mutually beneficial. Conversation, play and energy are some of the main characteristics of such a warm organization. 

In a warm climate, employees and members of the leadership team feel free to discuss emotions, personal details and challenging ideas, along with unique solutions to problems without fear of judgement or rejection.

While a warm environment for a workplace is incredibly essential to foster innovation, it is also important to make sure that the work environment does not degrade to a completely informal space. Some professionalism is always going to be needed to maintain civility and order.

That being said, a warm environment is a breeding ground for innovative thinking and novel ideas. Most organizations do not foster this kind of creativity in their everyday workings. 

The warmth in the environment of any organization can be significantly improved by practicing the following on a regular basis:

● Reading up on how to make polite conversation with co-workers, listening skills and making sure that you apply them in your real life

● Allowing yourself to be emotionally expressive if needed

● Promotion of organizational warmth by designating communal spaces where employees can unwind, socialize and relax with their co workers

● Promotion of freedom to be yourself and deliver on the expected value on your own terms 


A key to creating a warm culture is shifting from command-and-control hierarchy to shared authority, whereas the goal is co-creation. 

“Co-creation is rooted in a humans first mindset.”

Co-creation allows employees to experience the need to make an impact on their own terms and experience the fulfillment of being able to do so.

Co-creation allows for authentic and more intimate working relationships among employees. This helps to stimulate positive interactions among all employees, co-creating a more positive workplace.

“A positive and warm workplace enables new ideas to flourish and encourages collaboration, leading to a stronger unified company.”

For more information on how to expand on the principles of co-creation and co-ownership at work, check out the Radical Purpose movement by clicking here.

Business Innovation Brief

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