Saturday, December 2, 2017

Three Styles of Innovation Leaders

Leadership is about change and innovation.

The leadership in any organization must have the ability to guide, inspire, innovate, and motivate a group of people toward accomplishing shared visions and goals. Innovative leadership is essentially anchored on the leader's overall multifaceted resourcefulness and multidimensional competencies to formulate creative alternatives or unconventional solutions to resolve problems, to show versatility and flexibility in response to unpredictable or unanticipated business circumstances. Here are three styles of innovation leaders.

The open leadership style: Leadership is one of the critical success factors for innovation. Leaders who are open, collaborative, and willing to listen to employees are more likely to be successful innovators. The innovative leaders give the freedom to employees to do anything new and even if it fails, they learn from it and grow only to make better products or services in the future. Many leaders 'say' that they are ok with the new way to do the things but exhibit the contrary. Innovation is the only characteristic of an open-minded leader. The innovative leader views the whole picture and applies creativity in areas not tried. You should remember that innovation can be a breakthrough and notice that it requires a “break,” to break down the old belief or habit and establish the trust and principles to inspire innovation. The innovation leader must create an environment that encourages the exercise of the innovators and talents. Respect, even in failure must be an expectation at all levels. It is very important to build the culture of risk tolerance, employees not only 'hear,' but also 'see' that they can actually take risks, question the status quo without any fear of being put down or let down. Therefore, the very characteristics of innovation leaders include being a risk-taker, challenging the status quo, being fearless, looking at failure as a learning opportunity, and always looking for a better way.

Intrapreneurship: The heart of entrepreneurship is about changes. Organizations no matter large or small, all face unprecedented change, uncertainty, and accelerated business dynamic. Intrapreneurship is about discovering the new path for digital transformation and balancing innovation with other organizational priorities. Good intrapreneur-leaders first explain the big why behind business initiatives clearly. Intrapreneur leaders are not only self-motivated, but also motivate teams to cultivate change capabilities, encourage the staff to think out-of-the-box, they articulate the strategic rationale behind the venture, and bring back new designs that they might not even recognize using the current context. Intrapreneurship is a unique combination of “being innovative” and high mature leadership behaviors that develop and achieve high quality and meaningful results over a sustained period of time.  Intrapreneur leaders present solid leadership attributes such as “full open communication,” "out-of-the-box-thinking creativity,"“integration,” “ownership,” “digital readiness,” “self-adaptation,” and "resilience."

The hands-on leadership style: An innovation leader is not only a dreamer and a strategist but also a practitioner. The best innovation leaders are also well-disciplined. Innovation leaders face a complex reality, the environment plays an important role, every industry is different, the enterprise culture is unique. For the best innovation to occur, knowing what not to do and what resources are available is liberating. Hands-on leadership style is important because innovation leaders must be at the right moment, develop skills and knowledge, and use the right information available, to make the right decisions, with the right people, using the right methods, to give the best results. On one side, innovation leaders build the organization towards an innovative working climate by encouraging the creativity of the individuals and free-thinking; on the other hand, innovative leaders should skillfully focus on the business goals and navigate it in the right direction. Creative leadership is being flexible enough to adapt to the situation and the players involved. Being hands-on doesn't mean micromanagement, it means doing unexpected, unconventional things or methods to connect with your team, whatever it takes to get the job done, done well, and leaving everyone feeling good about it.

Innovation leaders are versatile, they learn and adapt, the substance of leadership will never change, but the leadership style can tailor to the circumstance for driving business results effectively. More often, innovation leaders are innovator themselves, they are the ones who can both make plans and think out of the box, they can see things differently and do things in alternative ways and walk the talk to build the highly innovative organization.


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