A great strategy without great implementation is hallucination. The first step in implementation excellence is leadership. In fact, we found in every case of companies with Engines of Innovation a great leadership team that worked in unison and aligned purpose.
No innovation strategy can ever be executed without the commitment and vision that comes from great leadership.
Innovation, in and of itself, generates anxiety because it creates change, often rapid and unpredictable change. Wherever there is change, their is ambiguity, uncertainty, and unpredictability. These factors alone are sufficient to throw many organizations into turmoil.
Add to these the difficulty of combatting the “Not Invented Here” syndrome, “us versus them” and “culture clash,” and you have all the ingredients for a conflagration.
Best in Class companies in our study pay strict attention to the Leadership issue with deep conviction:
- They see innovation as a core strategy in their company, and take action on its many implications:
- The Leadership Executive Team understands the importance of their role in fostering innovation
- Develop the right internal and external relationships to catalyze innovation
- Build the right cross-functional and cross-Business Unit Interactions
- Support the Champions in the field who are taking the risks all innovation requires
- Know how to select the right people to generate constructive innovation
- Are willing to scrap old non-effective methods.
- We have successfully extracted the best leadership practices that propell Engines of Innovation to success.
- Senior Executive support was not sufficient to create an Engine of Innovation. What was necessary was someone annointed by senior management to act as a champion of innovation. While most managers are driven by an ethic of competition, the innovation champion is driven by an ethic of creation.
- They inspire employees by distributing a sense of responsibility throughout the organization. Everybody performs with tangible goals in sight.
- There is more tolerance for risk-taking, thus greater innovation; more acceptance of the value of long-term success, thus greater persistence; more personal responsibility for how the company performs -- thus a work force that identifies personal achievement with the success of the firm.”
- We have identified the critical best practices that champions must engage in, and more importantly, how they combat cynicism, skepticism, and the pervasive not-invented-here syndrome,
The Engines of Innovation Program
will outline the criteria for success,
the key processes and practices, and
how to implement these best-in-class
leadership tools and skill sets in your company