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Innovation Leadership – 5 Important Traits to have

innovation leadership

What is Innovation Leadership?

Innovation leadership is a practice that combines different styles of leadership to influence employees to create new products and services. The leader plays a critical role in this process. Some traits of an innovation leader include being bold, persuasive, and encouraging collaboration. However, a leader’s style of leadership is not the only factor in their success.

Be a Rule Breaker

Rule Breakers tend to resist convention and the established order. They seek opportunities to challenge the status quo, and often find themselves in roles where they are expected to break the rules in order to display traits of innovation leadership. While Rule Breakers bring an element of risk to the workplace, they are also an essential element of needed change and fresh outlooks. These attributes can lead to the creation of new business ventures, and bursts of creativity and innovation. Leaders that are energized by change as well as leading change are displaying another trait of innovation leadership. They work to create a collaborative culture, and seek to harness knowledge and insight through unconventional means. They also strive to create a culture of trust and mutual respect, fostering a sense of shared aspiration and collaboration. It is essential to understand the rules in an organization and to encourage employees to be comfortable with breaking them. Leaders should encourage creativity by ensuring that employees understand the reasons behind existing policies. They should also be willing to accept failure and encourage creativity. If the rules don’t support the vision or mission of the organization, they can’t be effective.

Be Persuasive

The ability to persuade others is an important element of effective innovation leadership. Leaders who have a high level of influence have the ability to convince their team to adopt their ideas and strategies. As a result, these leaders are able to create a significant change in their organizations and people. Persuasive leadership creates an environment of adaptability, innovation, and confidence in management. The principles of persuasion help innovators convince relevant people of the value of their ideas. Many ideas fail to become commercially viable due to inherent weaknesses, and using the power of persuasion can help innovators get their ideas accepted. To improve your ability to influence people, read Cialdini’s book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion to discover more about the science of persuasion.

Be Courageous

Being courageous is the hallmark of innovation leadership. This trait is contagious and spreads by example. Diverse perspectives and voices contribute to the growth of an innovation, creating the “network effect” that multiplies the value of a product or service. Moreover, courage and leadership skills enable a company to defy gravity and create demand. Being courageous is about being willing to try new ideas and take risks. Leaders who are courageous are not afraid to challenge the status quo. They know that they may fail in the process, but they view failure as a learning opportunity. They are also willing to admit their mistakes and vulnerabilities. By being courageous, they can build a trusting culture in their organizations and add additional innovation leadership through mentorship. Courage helps companies overcome difficult challenges. Many successful business leaders have used courage in their efforts. For example, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs both used their courage to create successful companies from nothing. Both men were unfazed by fear and did not hesitate to make risky decisions to change the world. Courageous cultures are characterized by a shared set of values and behaviors. These cultures embrace new ideas that challenge industry norms and conventional wisdom. Leaders in these cultures make a commitment to be committed to solving the most difficult problems. Some of the best books on this topic include Barker Arthur Joel’s Paradigms and Adizes, Isak. If you are afraid to take risks, you may need to plan a reward for yourself once the risk is over. The post-risk reward should be something that rewards your courage.

Encourage Collaboration

Collaborative leadership is another trait of Innovation Leadership and requires good timing. Crisis situations can create the necessary urgency to break down barriers and convince reluctant stakeholders to join forces. Alternatively, good times can provide the time, funding, and common will necessary to encourage collaboration. In any case, a collaborative leader must create an environment that encourages participation in all areas of the organization. The business world is changing rapidly and organizations must stay ahead of the game. In order to stay competitive and keep up with the pace, they must encourage collaboration as part of their innovation leadership. A collaborative environment encourages employees to be creative and daring. It also fosters trust. To encourage collaboration in your organization, your top leaders should adopt a culture that is inclusive and supportive of diversity. In addition to encouraging collaboration, leaders should promote a vision for the organization and encourage experimentation. These practices should be supported by an open door policy and positive leadership. This policy should encourage input from all employees and encourage constructive feedback. The digital age has created a variety of collaboration tools, such as Slack, to promote communication between teams. Collaborative leadership can lead to improved operations in organizations and communities. This Innovation Leadership trait creates a new mindset among managers, and makes them more open to new issues. Ultimately, collaborative leaders foster greater sense of unity within an organization, and this is good for personal and team productivity. It also creates a more pleasant environment in the workplace. A collaborative office environment encourages collaboration and creative problem-solving. A collaborative environment also makes it easier for employees to share ideas and information. Many collaborative tools are available online, including Slack and Jamboard.

Foster a Culture of Risk-Taking

Fostering a culture of risk-taking in innovation leadership can help you achieve a variety of business objectives. It can raise engagement, create accountability, and propel your business toward the Key Results. While many leaders prefer to avoid taking risks, inaction costs companies far more than they realize. In an era where technology moves at lightning speed, playing it safe can leave you behind. Fostering a culture of risk-taking can also help employees discover new ways of working. This can lead to cost-cutting and improved productivity. It can also increase employee satisfaction, morale, and retention. In order to encourage a culture of measured risk-taking, senior leadership teams must embrace the idea and be willing to take calculated risks themselves. In addition, they must define what constitutes a “smart risk” and explain how it will affect the organization. Researchers have confirmed that risk-taking positively affects innovation performance. They found that it was associated with organizational resources, clear innovation goals, and collaboration. Furthermore, well-established innovation processes had a negative effect on innovation performance. The results of this study add to the current knowledge on the role of risk-taking in innovation leadership and provide insight into designing organizational contexts that encourage an appropriate level of risk-taking among employees. In contrast, bureaucratic, hierarchical, and fearful environments inhibit innovation. In these environments, innovation leadership is stunted due to repetition of business processes and intolerance of failure. However, if the environment is a conducive one, the rewards can be enormous. Innovation leadership traits must create a culture that supports risk-taking and creativity. Rather than punishing employees for taking risks, they must encourage them to take risk decisions and celebrate success irrespective of whether they succeed or fail.

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