Building a culture of innovation to cultivate high-performing teams

Get first-hand knowledge for cultivating a robust organizational culture and effective strategies to build a culture of innovation from the veteran leader, Amit Somani.


Organizations around the world are treading along a competitive landscape where organizational culture and innovation have become more crucial than ever. These have become the ultimate parameters that distinguish leaders from the lot. A strong innovative organizational culture not only defines the identity of an organization but also serves as the foundation of consistent growth and success. In the latest episode of Hyreo Rise, Amit Somani, a well-experienced leader and investor, is shedding light on how to build and cherish an innovative culture from the insights that came out of his 25 years of experience.  

Main Discussed Topics

For Amit, the evolving aspect of organizational culture as companies grow from being start-ups to corporate-level entities is a topic of great interest, owing to his association with start-ups as a managing partner at PVP and having seen several such companies start from scratch, grow, and flourish. He quoted Peter Drucker’s words ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast’, emphasizing how start-ups procrastinate culture building and struggle down the line. According to Amit, even the early-stage founders should consciously and deliberately prioritize culture and nurture it from day one.  

The efforts to build a culture of innovation should start from the inception of an organization. The best way to track its robustness is to consistently document it. You can also take regular assessments by welcoming perspectives from outside to hone the culture you’re cultivating. Additionally, as a founder, you should be perfectly clear about the core values you want your organization to project. Instead of considering many, pick three or four key principles and consistently demonstrate them in your actions to foster a culture that people admire and embrace. 

Obviously, AI is undeniably one of the biggest innovations we have been seeing for a while. Many organizations, regardless of their industries, have harnessed the power of AI and have reaped benefits one way or another. In particular, Amit has observed the innovative organizations’ collective attempt at understanding and familiarizing themselves with such AI tools, say at least three of four of them, and figuring out ways to incorporate them into their routine day-to-day operations. He himself has pondered how AI can be used to enhance his investment decisions or to source promising companies. Numerous organizations have similarly explored and leveraged AI and have embraced significant improvement in their workflows and overall efficiency.  

As an investor supporting start-up entrepreneurs, Amit always considers the organizational culture of companies before making investment decisions. Given the typically small employee size of such organizations, the founder culture is mainly subjected to intense scrutiny, in which the decisions are made by evaluating the founders’ cultural values, principles, beliefs, etc., and how these manifest within the organization. He acknowledges that they also look into company profiles on platforms such as Glassdoor or LinkedIn or reach out to former employees to gather additional insights.  


Real-life examples

While wrapping up, Amit recalled some inspiring examples to showcase how a culture of innovation is vital for breakthroughs, growth, and success. 

  • 3M, a century-old company, has its major revenue always coming from their most-recent products. This example shows that a culture of innovation is integral to surviving, thriving, and succeeding.  
  • Another example is Google’s 20% project, an innovation management strategy that encouraged employees to spend 20% of their work time on projects of their interest, which became a cornerstone of Google’s innovation strategy. 

About Speaker

Amit Somani

Amit Somani is a distinguished leader and investor with over 25 years of global experience across various industries, including the Internet and technology. He is known for his product & tech leadership roles at top organizations such as Google, Makemytrip, and IBM Silicon Valley Lab. He was a part of the leadership team that took the company public on NASDAQ in 2010. During his tenure at Google, Amit headed many teams that focused on search, mobile, and advertisement products and had won Google’s Founder’s Award for one of his products – a Search-based keyword tool. Additionally, he received the Best Global Innovation Award in the B2C category for Route Planner at Phocus Wright Miami 2013. Amit has also been named LinkedIn India Top Voices in 2018 and 2019. At present, Amit is the Managing Partner at Prime Venture Partners, a Bengaluru-based fund that supports insightful entrepreneurs.   


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