Challenging The Status Quo Every Day: Why Innovation And Continuous Improvement Are Key For eLI's Culture-Building

Challenging The Status Quo Every Day: Why Innovation And Continuous Improvement Are Key For eLI's Culture-Building
Summary: What does it mean to truly innovate and break down barriers? Let's look at how challenging the status quo has shaped eLI's culture.

Our Ongoing Pursuit To Break Up The Status Quo

This is the second article in our cultural core values series in honor of our 10-year anniversary. As we mentioned in our first article about how eLearning Industry built its company culture on integrity, we were named Best Workplace Hellas 2022. However, cultivating our culture and shaping its values took time, perseverance, and dedication. We know that building a thriving company culture is not an easy task. So, we've decided to share our story to, hopefully, help other organizations avoid common mistakes and create a culture to be proud of.

This time, we'll focus on challenging the status quo and why innovation is such a crucial part of eLI's culture-shaping project, then dive into some tips to help organizations do the same.

Real Innovators Versus Rebels Without A Cause

There's a fine line between challenging the status quo and rebelling against what's been established. Innovation is all about constantly improving and finding new ways to grow your organization. There must be a purpose behind everything that you do, whether it's changing the way you approach leads or rethinking how you tackle internal tasks. It's not a matter of being argumentative or trying to look for flaws in the system that aren't there. Truly challenging the status quo means finding creative solutions to real problems and always looking for new ways to streamline processes and improve the experience for all parties involved. That said, you shouldn't just be up for the challenge when the going gets tough, it should be an everyday occurrence.

At eLearning Industry, one of our biggest challenges was changing mindsets. As a whole, we humans tend to be resistant to change. On top of that, many people have worked for organizations where innovation wasn't necessarily welcomed because it disrupted "the order of things," even if it meant hindering personal and professional growth. So, we held culture-shaping workshops that focused on cultivating this core value. Our founder also asks for our input on projects large and small, ranging from rebranding to the weekly editorial calendar.

Why Challenging The Status Quo Is Crucial For Success

We're not just referring to success at the organizational level. Challenging the status quo also helps employees achieve success in different aspects of their personal and professional lives. For example, they're more likely to pursue additional learning opportunities to broaden their horizons because they won't settle for par. Growth and self-evaluation are essential for innovation and cultivating a culture where continuous improvement is the norm encourages employees to reflect and ask difficult questions (even if it's about their own performance or habits).

A Story From An eLI Team Member

For quite some time, we'd been providing clients with a single analysis report as part of certain content marketing campaigns. But we're not ones to let "it's always been this way" stand between us and innovation. So, we re-evaluated the process and decided that it was best to divide this report in two for the sake of clarity and actionability. One would focus more on creating top-notch content for the campaigns that they ran with us, while the other gave them a deep dive into competitive analysis, keywords gaps, etc., that they could use to improve their own site's performance. It's made a significant difference and it's all because the eLI team is always willing and ready to try something new and take calculated risks. 

3 Tips To Challenge The Status Quo In Your Organization

Rome wasn't built in a day, and the same goes for creating a culture where challenging the status quo is the norm. However, here are some tips to help you spark innovation in your organization and encourage your team to go out of their comfort zone.

Pinpoint Mindset Roadblocks

Are there limiting beliefs or assumptions that are holding your employees (and company culture) back? It's time to identify those mindset roadblocks and gently break them down. What's preventing your team from challenging the status quo and seizing new opportunities? Surveys, focus groups, and anonymous questionnaires are great ways to disclose issues. You can also host a live event to get their input and discuss hurdles. For example, maybe some members of your organization have had negative experiences in the past when they've tried to voice their opinions or ideas.

Set Success Parameters

What does success truly mean for your organization? In order to innovate, you need to know where you're heading and ensure that everyone is on the same path. Are your employees aware of your objectives and goals? Do they know your future plans for growth and expansion? Defining these parameters also gives your team the chance to determine what role they play in your company's long-term success and why it is so crucial for them to continually challenge the status quo.

Open The Floor To Feedback

It's a common misconception that real change happens at the top. In actuality, every member of your team, including external partners, can help you break down barriers. Even customers can provide valuable feedback to facilitate innovation. However, you need to let them know that their concerns, questions, and ideas are welcome. An open mind is the first step to breaking down the status quo. So, open the floor to feedback in all of its many forms, whether that's Q&As, brainstorming sessions, or polls.


Challenging the status quo isn't about taking risks and hoping that everything pans out. To fuel innovation in your organization, you must identify any cracks in your cultural foundation that hinder feedback, personal growth, and employee empowerment.

If you'd like to learn more about eLearning Industry's origins and other values that shape who we are today, check out The Best Things Begin On Balconies: A Celebration Of Our 10th Year.

You can also download our eLI Audience Survey 2022: Leveraging eLearning Buyer Insights To Fuel Marketing Strategies to delve into the survey data analysis and discover the real impact of working from home and social distancing on eLearning professionals, HR pros, and corporations worldwide.

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