Leadership & Creating a commitment to Innovation

Recent history has shown us that organisations which can pivot their offering to meet changing demands, with flexible structures and processes have been able to weather a storm better than those who are more rigid. Yet there is more the innovation than simply reacting to changes. To successfully lead a truly innovative organisation, leaders need to actively champion creativity and also be prepared to fail.

Innovation is about people more than technology. Innovation needs humans to engage. If everyone companywide is committed to driving progressive change into a business the results will be evident.

This is why the role of the leader within any organisation is so important for innovation. Leaders must create a culture of innovation, where creative ideas are met with implementation rather than bureaucracy.

To help support innovation, it is important that teams have the opportunity (and time) to understand key elements of successful products and service design, analytics, and agile project management best practice to be able to implement ideas using iterative principles.

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Leaders are critical for setting out the innovation stall, why it is an imperative for the future of your organisation and what a failure to innovate will lead to. Leaders need to remove the barriers for teams to come together, to collaborate on how to best deliver value to customers, leaving siloed working and thinking behind. Leaders must also establish the level of risk which the organisation is willing to take on and clearly communicate this. Part of this is also about executive teams accepting and even celebrating that not all ideas will be winning ones and that some investments will fail, but that this is where key learning happens. Whilst conducting our research into innovation, Matt Aldridge of Mango Solutions told us the key to overcoming the fear of failure is to ensure you “fail fast” and pivot quickly away from ideas which are not panning out as planned.

Creating a culture which allows for failure might seem like a big step, but the opportunities that will open as a consequence will make it valuable. If you need help getting your company culture to embrace innovation, contact TiggyR@NineFeetTall.com

This blog has been taken from our research into innovation. To download the full report click here.

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