Ultimate Guide To Leading Innovation6 mins - Introduction
Every company needs to find ways to survive in an ever-changing economy. Businesses struggle to keep up with new technology and their customers want. It isn’t easy for any company to be innovative, and while management teams recognize change is the only way forward, most lack confidence in their team.
To survive in the business world, companies need strong leaders to help drive them forward. Without leadership, a company has no chance of success. However, few people understand the importance of leading innovation.
Why Is It Important?
Innovation is responsible for some of the biggest companies in the world. For example, Google and Microsoft are innovators and lead changes in the technology world. Every single idea is some form of innovation, but the best ideas give companies a stronghold within their industry.
Throughout history, innovation has defined how societies evolve. The Romans were master innovators, and their democracy shapes how we live and vote today. Romans built the roads we travel every day, which shows how innovative leaders can change the world.
If we didn’t have innovators, then how would we function as a society? It’s exactly the same for businesses, but on a smaller scale. Companies that focus on innovation have more chances of penetrating difficult markets and retaining their staff members.
The biggest part of leading innovation is having the skills to inspire others and promote change. When we think of great leaders, each of them possesses the following skills.
Leaders have to believe in themselves, or others won’t follow them. Confidence is the key to success, and it attracts team members. When we believe someone knows what they’re doing, we’re more likely to follow them.
Every leader has the opportunity to make a difference and the best leaders embrace this. Do you like helping others reach their full potential?
It’s easy for leaders to blame others when things go wrong, but it doesn’t help their reputation. Every leader must be able to take responsibility for their choices and sometimes carry the load for others.
Leaders must encourage others, but it’s important they have idea skills. It’s important that leaders work on their creativity and contribute ideas to the team. However, they should also inspire others to be creative.
The Steps of Leading Innovation
If you want to lead innovation, you need to think about how to do it properly. There are five main factors for you to take into consideration.
Innovation is a Group Activity
There can never be one person responsible for innovation because it takes a group to promote change. Every organization has a hierarchy, and each needs to take responsibility for promoting change. One person might have an idea, but implementing it takes a collaborative approach. For example, if the Romans built roads, but did one person take full responsibility? Perhaps there was an initial idea, then an analysis of how to implement it, followed by lower-level individuals building the roads. Innovators aren’t afraid to share ideas with others and they also listen to a range of theories and creative approaches. Leading innovation requires teamwork and an open mind.
Innovation Requires Planning
Just as innovation requires a collaborative approach, it also needs planning. Innovative leaders drive an idea forward and ensuring all team members know what their role is. One of the most significant factors of leading innovation is recognizing weaknesses and designing strategies to solve them.
Innovation Needs Talent
Large companies are full of talent, but, many people go unnoticed. Great leaders can recognize talent and work with others to discover their potential. Just because a team member is in an entry-level role, doesn’t mean they don’t have the skills and talent to implement an idea. Leaders should always keep their eyes open and understand how to evaluate peoples skill sets.
Innovation Needs Flexibility
People don’t all work in the same way. We all have different learning styles and ways of working. The most important thing for leaders to remember is that they need to remain flexible and accommodate others. You’ll work with lots of teams when you lead innovation and IT teams work differently to HR departments. There’s no set way for doing things, so it’s important to be flexible in your leadership approach.
Innovation Requires Mediation
In an ideal world, everybody would get on and agree. We all know that’s impossible, and conflict is a natural part of collaborating. Perhaps one team member thinks things should be done differently, and others disagree. Leaders must ensure they mediate between all members and work with others to reach an agreement. If you want to become a great leader, it’s important you work on your mediation skills.
Ready to Lead Innovation?
There is a very distinct gap between the recognition that innovation is essential and teams implementing it. However, this gap could be closed if companies dedicated themselves to using the talent they have and encouraging ideas from team members. One excellent way to allow employees to think of ideas is to encourage an incentive scheme.
Leading innovation will never be simple, but once companies learn to work together and give their leaders, the chance to drive change forward they can look forward to a prosperous future.