Are you an innovative leader?
An interesting notation by Stephanie Castellano, How to Crush Innovation, in Talent Development magazine has bold application to business leaders and job seekers who want to be business leaders.
Looking at what DOES NOT work offers four ideas on how to be successful:
- Install leaders with no track record of innovation. Don’t be one of these folks. Be the leader who encourages ideas to bubble up, the one who shares ideas and applauds risk takers.
- Establish vague, confusing goals. Be the leader with plans and process innovations that support business goals. Important innovations often start as ideas and develop into project plans that finish as business changing innovations.
- Create a culture of fear. This is much easier than creating a culture of involvement and inclusion where new ideas can be shared and plans for the future can include everyone. This is more than a poster about open door culture. We are talking about walking around listening to the team members interested in creating a culture of involvement. Demonstrate your inclusiveness through the stories you share about past team successes.
- Don’t give employees time to work on side projects. The next innovation probably doesn’t come from that 4 inch binder that contains the strategic plan created by executives behind closed doors. The plan is important but the next innovation comes from a tiny idea dreamed up by that quiet lower level employee. You will miss it if you are not careful. Pay attention, listen carefully and encourage team members to work on those tiny ideas in their spare time. Better yet, remove barriers and distractions to free up time for tiny dreams to become ideas that will move the company forward.
Everyone is just one business meeting away from being a job seeker. With that in mind, can you point to stories that demonstrate your track record of innovation with clear goals that arise from a culture of involvement and inclusion? Are you listening? Are you open to ideas that start as germs from the quiet person in the corner?