Developing innovation leaders

    Support for innovation is loudly declared in nearly all corporate mission statements, guiding principles and values. The challenge is leading the organization into a future state where innovation is part of the overall mind-set and behavior of executives and their teams. Engaging employees to give their best effort is not a challenge exclusive to innovation, but it does require a different approach to make it work.

    Managing innovation teams and initiatives requires a unique set of skills, but above all, it requires a different set behaviors. Walking the talk is about taking concrete actions to show teams that innovation is key to long term business success. This doesn’t mean leaders need to do everything themselves, leadership often means delegating and leaving it to the team, listening and then stepping in when they need help. Leaders need to be able to communicate clearly why innovation is important, what innovation is expected to deliver and how the organization intends to achieve its goal(s). This is about engaging people more than just delivering a message.

    How we can help

    We develop innovation leaders that are not afraid to “get into the kitchen” and participate, that can think longer term and translate that into action into the here and now. This means acquiring a broad range of practical innovation skills and understanding the core principles and underlying methods and approaches. We turn innovation into a discipline that requires professionalism at all levels just like any other business function. This means accountability, responsibility and above all, experience through learning by doing. Innovation leaders learn to engage and mobilize their teams as well as other executives, create the right environment and to give the appropriate support and guidance.

    Outcomes

    Innovation Leaders that can:

    • Manage around the complexity and uncertainty associated with innovations
    • Facilitate dialogue around innovation topics
    • Understand the connection between innovation, strategy and execution
    • Engage and mobilize people around innovation initiatives
    • Participate in as well as lead innovation projects
    • Identify orthodoxies and remove barriers to innovation