Innovation is imperative. Around 75 percent of organizations cite innovation as one of their top three business priorities. Several organizations have also listed innovation as a value and guiding principle. Despite this, innovation is not easy in and of itself. In general, only about 30% of organizations believe they are good at innovating or have demonstrated innovation.
Our 5-step FOOS Methodology is a structured approach designed to assist teams and organizations in innovating in a strategy-led manner. Our innovation experts and consultants help organizations develop an innovation charter. Various factors, including industry trends as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the current innovation system, are considered before making a decision. A charter will be developed after considering the insights and vision of the leadership.
The building of a Center of Excellence (COE) is a critical component of our consulting services. The Strengthscape team identifies, and trains innovation champions and certifies them to facilitate innovation conversations and projects within organizations.
Along with developing the innovation charter and empowering innovation champions, our Innovation experts assist the teams in developing prototypes and minimum viable products in accordance with the innovation charter. Mentorship will be provided for the teams so they can develop a business case, build a business model, and plan the scale-up of their products and services. Strengthscape supports innovation teams by assisting them in executing the 5-step FOOS methodology to achieve their innovation goals within the organization.
Innovative leadership is an approach that combines different leadership styles to inspire employees to produce innovative ideas, products, and services. With new technologies and procedures, it is imperative for organizations to think innovatively to ensure continuous progress and stay ambitious. The need for innovation in organizations has resulted in a new focus on the role of leaders in the formation of the nature and success of creative efforts. Without innovative leadership, organizations are likely to struggle. The need for innovation is the change from the conventional view of organizational practices, which did not encourage employee innovative behaviors, to the modern view of regarding innovative thinking as a strong influence on organizational performance.
Executives see innovative leadership as the most important way for companies to increase the pace of change in today’s global business environment. Some calculated thinkers are moving beyond traditional products and services to develop innovations in business processes. The way innovative leadership works sends strong signals to employees. It is essentially associated with change and takes attention and resources away from efforts to achieve short-term performance goals. Innovation requires leaders to encourage employees in order to win over their affection. The main motivators of behavior to encourage innovation are strong leaders who protect it and top executives who spend their time actively managing and driving it.
How Leadership Can Drive Innovation?
Simply accepting progressive employees and procedures is a good beginning for innovation, but it is not enough to establish it at an organizational level. To reach there, leadership needs to take a more active role.
- Innovative leaders challenge the situation, depending not on the safe and easy path but on their future vision to make decisions
- They are expert in the area that requires innovation, being aware of the details of their organization, and showing a professional eagerness about where it could go
- Innovative leaders set aspiring goals, challenging their employees to reach high rather than simply copying last year’s performance. This quality has to go hand in hand with giving the workforce the freedom to achieve these goals
- They move quickly. Research has found a clear relation between speed of execution and degree of innovation. Some fast leaders were in the top percentile for innovation effectiveness
- Innovative leaders desire information, recognizing that proper facts can drive innovation. Asking good questions and listening to the responses is of great importance
- They excel at teamwork, putting their own interest to the side in the interest of teamwork and group-based value creation
- They value diversity and inclusion
Behind the success of every organization is the essential role played by innovation. Professionals also believe in the value of innovation in various sectors and industries. The leaders have to make efforts to drive innovation in an organization. The leaders know the need of achieving development. They must apply their thinking ability for the innovation. We must focus on leadership in fostering and driving innovation.
How to Develop Innovative Leaders at workplace?
In today’s marketplace companies must innovate to survive. Nowadays, there is much pressure for innovation, especially if companies want to be business leaders. This is because quick changing technology is driving changes in markets and shifting trends in customer behavior. The best way to stay competitive is to make innovation a custom throughout the organization. All departments must take part in the innovation process, and it must be driven by leaders in order to create durability. Innovation is not just for the development of the product, or for the creative department, it’s for everyone.
Here are five ways to help your leadership team master innovation –
- Help Them Develop Self-Awareness – This is important because self-awareness allows people to better understand how and where they best perform. When it comes to innovation leadership, there are six required stages: identify, define, develop, verify, deploy, and scale. Once people understand their skills, talents, and passions, they will be able to decide where they best fit in these stages. The leaders will better understand their unique contribution to innovation once they are able to see the results of innovation assessment on paper
- Allow Them to Take Risks – Encourage your leaders to be daring in their efforts and ideas. Create an environment were taking risks and learning through failure are common. Consider rewarding for trying new things, for coming up with ideas, and for innovative thinking. Nobody takes risks just for the sake of it. People usually take risks because they are trying to learn, do, or prove something. Make that kind of behavior the ideal
- Support Their Intellectual Growth – Motivate your leaders to learn, which leads to broadening perspectives and the stimulation of critical thought. The most important proof of intellectual growth is the type of questions you ask and the different ways in which you apply your new knowledge. Learning also drives curiosity and deeper understanding. Inspire your leaders to read books and articles, help them outline a course of study or a series of thought leaders to follow, work on intellectual exercises in collaboration, or give topics to team members to study and deliver to the group
- Encourage Them to Embrace Creativity – Creativity comes in many forms. It’s not only artistic expression. Creativity is simply turning imagination into something real. It’s seeing things from a different point of view, finding connections between ideas, and generating solutions to problems and opportunities. It’s easy to see why creativity is essential for innovation. The truth is that everyone has the potential for creativity, but we often prohibit creative thought because we fear judgment
- Inspire Them to Develop an Innovation System – Innovation doesn’t just happen by chance; it requires structure. An innovation system is the methodology needed to think through problems and to ask the necessary questions along the way. It will be different for every leader. We all think differently and approach problems from different angles. No matter how you look at it, you must systemize it. An effective innovation system allows you to record ideas and actions, accompany people along the process, and at the end see outcomes
Innovative leadership has swung into and out of fashion: popular in good times and unsuccessful in crisis. But as globalization pulls down the market barriers that once kept businesses from achieving their goal, a company’s ability to innovate, has become a key factor of growth, performance, and valuation.
Barriers To Innovation
Innovation can be complicated and can sometimes feel like a hassle for heads of innovation at large companies, but that can’t stop you from moving forward in the midst of constant digital destruction. Creativity is an important leadership quality which is necessary for prosperity. As several barriers of innovation are coming up and the world is becoming more complex, creative leaders invite advancing innovation, encourage others to drop ancient approaches and take balanced risks. But, it’s sad that many organizations fail to release their most valuable resources: employee creativity and imagination. They are devoid of a systematic approach to building a culture of innovation, and then wonder why they fail to succeed.
Here are some barriers of innovation, which should be removed to enable your employees to take your organization forward.
- Closed-Mindedness – Employees are thoroughly involved working with the minute details of your company, so listen to them if they come up with a significant innovation as it could save much time and money
- Traditions – Past results should never be used to foretell future success. Stay with your traditions if you want, but associate them with visions that will prepare you for an ever-changing future
- Jealousy – The world of business is full of politics and jealousy. Good leaders and employees support the people around them. Accept an innovative idea brought by an employee. The best leaders try to employ people who are better than them, so it makes sense that your employees will come up with some good ideas that you haven’t thought of yet
- Budget Issues – Innovation is expensive and can eat up a lot of cash flow and present a level of risk but that is no reason you shouldn’t look into and evaluate the risk and reward of each initiative. If there’s enough evidence that a risk is worth taking, then go ahead and spend on it
- Generation Gap – There is a big generation gap with the younger crowd complaining that older leaders would never listen to their new ideas. Such barriers of innovation are hard to overcome, but they should be removed. Older people can be just as innovative and maybe more innovative than a young person. There is no excuse for any age to not listen to and assess a creative idea
- Communication – Communication is important when presenting an innovative idea. Encourage employees to present ideas in a brief way that makes it easier for others to understand. Poor communication can lead to the failure of a great innovation
- Size – It’s obvious to think your organization can’t change course because of its size. If you do not motivate your employees to innovate, smaller companies in your industry will win in the long run and you may fail
- Thought Leadership – Thought leadership is becoming a necessity for proper leadership. Some leaders hold back because they don’t want to seem arrogant or they’re just being lazy. One of the biggest factors to becoming a great thought leader is contributing to credible sources of information about your industry otherwise your employees won’t be as inspired to copy your sense of innovation or create their own
- Resources – Not having the resources is a common excuse people give when they’re presented with an innovative idea. You can find the resources by bringing on new employees or redirecting resources if the right idea comes along. If you remove this barrier of innovation, you will more carefully contemplate what’s possible.
It’s not necessary to consider every idea that comes from your employees. However, you should create an environment where employees are always encouraged to come up with innovative ideas. Always keep an open mind and assess ideas and try to remove these barriers of innovation.