What is Innovative Leadership?

What are the qualities of an innovative leader? often when people think of innovators they are really thinking about creative thinkers, people who generate ideas but the innovative leader is more than that. Innovative leaders typified by Elon Musk, Steve Jobs and others are people with big ideas who can motivate people to turn the ideas into reality.

Imagination and communication

An innovative leader needs powerful imagination and excellent communication skills, the ability to craft a story that can visualise an idea, and sell a concept. Encouraging creativity means not being micro managers, it is about motivation and inspiration.

Innovation Requires Optimism

Innovative leaders need to consider the potential, look for opportunities and have a open perspective that says ‘why not’.

Knowing when to Kill it

No matter how much emotional investment might have gone into a project, the innovative leader knows when to stop investing time in specific initiatives and focus energy on alternatives.

Having Relevant Expertise

Bring the right skills to the right role, you can’t expect to step into any innovation leadership role without understanding the process relationships, core competencies and methodologies of the domain.

Key Takeaways

  • Innovative leaders can motivate and inspire people to turn ideas into reality
  • The ability to communicate and craft a powerful story is a critical skill
  • Innovators need to be open to broad range of ideas but know when to kill an idea that run its innovation course.
Synopsis of an article from Innovation Management
by Jeffrey Baumgartner
Published 17th August 2011


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