For leaders who wish to see more innovation within their organisation or team, I thought to pen and share lessons from my observation, learning and experience at work in 2020… hoping they serve as “gentle reminders” as we look forward to 2021.
Leadership imperatives for an Innovative Organisation
- Leaders must embrace a “continuous innovation” mindset. One that says: “There is always a better way.. let’s find it” and “Things don’t have to be broken to need fixing”
- Leaders must inspire and support the creative vision and thinking of all employees, as well as draw ideas and insights from their ecosystem. Promote and facilitate a 360-degree flow of ideas i.e. Top down, Bottom up and Outside in
- Leaders must articulate and emphasize the behaviours that foster an innovative culture; openly recognising and celebrating employees who demonstrate such behaviours. Remember, whatever you appreciate, appreciates
- Leaders must be courageous when considering the cost and risks associated with exploring new ideas. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
- Leaders must establish and standardised an internal process for receiving, assessing, developing or exiting ideas. Innovation requires good governance to thrive.
- Do not “over process” small incremental innovation.
- For transformative ideas, build out the business case and assess it through a well-informed mid to long term view.
- To manage risks and costs, remember to Phase, Pilot and Test before Scaling up
Hope you find these reminders useful. Please share your nuggets and lessons learned on how to sustain innovation within an organisation or team.