Repeatedly you might have heard the word “innovation” paired with “leadership.” But what does it really mean? Do these couple of words together have a real meaning or, rather, their only value lies in exemplifying how flashy an expression can be?
To better understand what we mean when we say, ‘Innovation Leadership,’ let us start by defining these words individually. ‘Innovation’ means to create something new or to improve something that already exists with a new method or idea. ‘Leadership’ refers to the act of leading, which is to influence and guide a group of people. Now, we can start to define ‘Innovation Leadership.’
What is Innovation Leadership?
According to what we have already defined, ‘Innovation Leadership’ should mean ‘a new way to guide teams,’ but it is more than that; it refers to a leadership that seeks to create new leaders through the stimulation of each team member’s abilities. In a article published by the World Economic Forum, Linda A. Hill describes it best:
“Leading innovation is not about getting people to follow you to the future; it is about getting people to co-create it with you.”Linda A. Hill, Harvard Business Review
But what are the qualities that a leader must have to lead innovation within their teams? You might think that you need to be an inventive leader to create innovation in your team, but the truth is that innovation leadership does not have much to do with being original and having an out-of-the-box way of thinking. Here are the 3 main components of innovation leadership:
1. Creative agility
The ability to experiment and implement new processes to obtain better results. Creative agility also implies acting on building the future instead of planning it incessantly. Yes, creating solutions is important, but so is applying them.
2. Setting boundaries and engaging
It is imperative to take the time to sit down and establish the collective expectations that the team has, the role of each member within the project, and also to set deadlines. Doing this will build trust between team members and their relationship with you, but also it will help you to obtain the best final product possible.
3. Creating a culture of trust
According to this article by McKinsey & Company, most employees agree that the biggest obstacle for innovation is company culture. If you want to become a leader that cultivates innovation, you need to build a network whose values align with the objectives.
A new generation of leaders
Everyday new talents are emerging in diverse types of industries. These new talents need new leadership tools that will guide them towards corporate success. There is a growing need for new types of leadership techniques or methods, but are you ready to embrace it? With our ‘Leading Teams to Innovate’ you will learn how to lead, nurture, and implement innovation in your teams. Click here to get more information.