Five ways Leaders Enable Innovation in Teams

This article explains five ways that leaders can enable innovation in teams, innovation does not happen in silo’s, it is most effective when you understand the process flows between different business functional units, when you analyse and understand your competitors offerings, when you understand the changes in market dynamics and the role of emerging technology.

“most companies continue to assume that innovation comes from that individual genius, or, at best, small, sequestered teams that vanish from sight and then return with big ideas.”

By Rob Cross , Andrew Hargadon , Salvatore Pariseand Robert J. Thomas. “Together We Innovate” WSJ

If you can score above 36% in the workplace serendipity quiz, you are proficient at leading innovative teams. “Innovation requires a certain type of person: they are passionate explorers in pursuit of endless possibilities.” The best leaders also know that innovation comes from multiple sources both internally and externally. When you bring people together from divergent points of view they have a wider frame of reference to create and innovate.

Opening minds to innovation is critical to creating a workplace environment that enables people to thrive. The five things that leaders can do to with their teams to foster a creative an innovative environment:

  1. Trust Yourself Enough to Trust Others
    Innovation requires you to break the rules and create new rules! So it requires a trusted team – be a better listener, be patient, build trust.
  2. Collaborate and Discover
    Working closely together you will make larger leaps to discover new ways of thinking
  3. Communicate to Learn
    Set the tone in your messages, a team that trusts and collaborates will expand its thinking and grow its innovation
  4. Be A Courageous Change Agent
    Teams are looking for a leader who challenges them to be courageous and enables them to be creative
  5. Course Correct to Perfect
    Ongoing course correction is continuous improvement. Create and sustain the momentum for growth with a constant review of these three questions: A) What must I keep doing? B) What must I stop doing? C) What must I start Doing?

Key Takeaways

  • Innovation is about teams not individuals, but it does require a specific leadership capability
  • Innovators are passionate explorers in pursuit of endless opportunities
  • Leaders need to work with teams to create an innovative working environment
Synopsis of an article from Forbes
by Glenn Llopis
Published 7th April 2014
Read the full article here:

"Together We Innovate" from The Wall Street Journal
Published 15th September 2007
By Rob Cross , Andrew Hargadon, Salvatore Parise and Robert J. Thomas 

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