Anybody who has ever watched interviews with managers or coaches of professional sports teams will have heard plenty of discussion of the need for leaders throughout the team. The same thinking is also increasingly a preoccupation of business people. Indeed, the need for “leaders at all levels” is one of [...]
Not long ago, strategy was king. Forecasting, planning and placing smart bets created the power sources within organizations.
The future of a business (or a career) could fit into an established framework or system. If managed well, success would follow. Today, uncertainty is palpable.
Planning for next quarter is a challenge. Even more difficult is committing to decisions that will play out in one to five years.
What is the new process, the innovative product, the game-changing service or the compelling vision?
In the words of one senior executive: “We’ve lost our crystal ball.”
☛ What leaders need now is Innovation Leadership...
They need it for themselves, as they learn to operate in challenging, unpredictable circumstances.
They also need to create a climate for innovation within organizations. Innovative systems, tools and thinking are essential for organizational health and future viability.
Underlying the pressure to adapt — as individuals and organizations — is the need to innovate. But how? ☜
<> Innovation leadership has two components <>
1- An innovative approach to leadership:
This means to bring new thinking and different actions to how you lead, manage and go about your work...
2- Leadership for innovation:
Leaders must learn how to create an organizational climate where others apply innovative thinking to solve problems and develop new products and services. It is about growing a culture of innovation, not just hiring a few creative outliers....
Business thinking vs. innovative thinking
Today’s managers are not lacking ideas, theories or information. They have extraordinary knowledge and expertise. They are skilled practitioners of traditional business thinking.
△▲Six innovative thinking skills△▲
✏ Designers ask questions like how do we make something beautiful and usable?
✏ How does it mechanically go together?
✏ How do we reflect the brand?
✏ Leaders ask questions such as, What are we trying to achieve and why?
✏ How do we accomplish our goals?
✏ What people and resources do we need to make it happen?
By weaving together the leadership process with the design process, CCL and Continuum have identified six innovative thinking skills:
◁ Paying Attention…
F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in the mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”
Experiment with innovation
In our work with people across industries, functions, experience and background, we’ve learned that everyone has the ability to develop and use innovative thinking skills:
➹ Reframe the challenge…
➹ Focus on the customer experience...
A deeper understanding of your customer comes from interacting with him or her in his or her real environment.
➹ Practice rapid prototyping…
☕ Leadership for organizational innovation requires ☕
☕ Organizational Encouragement…
☕ Lack of Organizational Impediments…
☕ Leadership Encouragement…
☕ Sufficient Resources…
☕ Realistic Workload…
☕☕☕ Teamwork and Collaboration…
A call for innovation leadership Businesses, institutions and communities are feeling the limits of their standard processes. The added burdens of economic pain and widespread uncertainty have leaders everywhere looking for new ways forward.
Innovative leadership — the use of innovative thinking and the leadership that supports it — is the key to finding what’s new, what’s better and what’s next…
A great quote can provide personal inspiration and can be used to educate others; in my book Employee Engagement 2.0 I open every chapter with an enlightening quotation. Below are my top 100 leadership quotes of all time.
Over the last 30 years of my career I've had a lot of jobs. I've been a sales person, a technical support specialist, an engineer, a product marketing director, a researcher, and an executive,
Lauren Nichols's insight:
The importance of self awareness in one's personal and professional development cannot be overstated. One way that we gain this awareness is through others feedback and their mirroring of both strengths and our blind spots. This feedback helps us learn to mitigate the impact of what we might consider our "weaknesses" and helps us understand our strengths. Our "strengths" represent who we really are and as the article indicates, as we learn understand and apply them, the closer we are to being our authentic selves as leaders and contributors to meaningful work.
How to Determine Your Company’s True CultureI think a lot about culture. I talk a lot about culture. I write a lot about culture. But most importantly, I worry a lot about culture.Every company has a
Lauren Nichols's insight:
This is a lesson in the principle of connectivity. All organizations have espoused values that are designed to be the under pinnings of the organizational culture. The problem is well defined in the article and is essentially pointing out the adage of Walk the Talk...If we are saying one thing but modeling and accepting something else then we are doing more damage than we often realize. The connectivity is the energy between us, how we are connected to the organization's mission through similar values and relationships. If the people /leaders of the organization do not live the values then we diminish trust, erode relationships, lose our common purpose for the work and effectively destroy any hope for positive organizational culture.
So many manager and supervisor avoid feedback because they don't want to dael with the conversation and reactio. By following some simple steps and preparing for a feedback discussion you can make it easier and more productive.
Want to hold tight to your talent? Don't do these things!
Lauren Nichols's insight:
Amen! Even if we don't believe we are doing these things out right...like down playing values and mission, what are we DOING that sends that message anyway? When our actions are incongruent with our Mission and Values associate especially those who feel called by the mission become disheartened and disconnected. Sometime we have jerks in management precisely because we hired for the past and did not invest in their development. That lack of development costs us more in the long run by -decreasing employee engagement, increased turnover, poor customer service, inability to accomplish goals /effect change through influence, hold any level of accountability and the list goes on.
It is great to work in an organization that provides development opportunities and training but some of the best development can come when you seek opportunities outside work. This is very important if your organization does not provide much in they way of development. Pursing a master's degree in Leadership was the best investment I could have made. Lots of folks go for MBA type programs but other considerations are Ethics or, Leadership. If you have your technical skills down then leadership may give you that boost you are looking for. My program at St. Edward's Univ. in Austin has a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Ethics which dovetailed very well with the non-profit that I work in and helped me learn to be a better leader.
Leadership for collaborative innovations in the public sector is an undifferentiated concept that requires further development.
This article facilitates the production of knowledge of a type of leadership that is made from the bottom up with the focus on gathering horizontal support for profession-based solutions to wicked problems.
The article introduces the framework of Bottom-Up Collaborative Innovation Leadership, defined as the initiation of leadership-making processes from the bottom of the lead organisation by bringing together diverse organisations by influencing strategies of recognition, sense-making and entrepreneurship, with the aim of stabilising the decision-making structures.
It is argued that the literature so far works with an implicit top-down leadership perspective on collaboration.
It assumes that a public sector lead agency is one:
A. That is consolidated, i.e. is able to make unanimous decisions regarding the scope of the future innovation project, despite divergent intra-organisational interes...
B. That works with a strategic, stable, top-down mandate, thus making it legitimate for a facilitative leader to invite collaborators to participate, in order to innovate on a delineated part of the service ‘production system’.
C. That has decided what the ‘problem’ is and how it is to be dealt with.
These assumptions are problematic when studying collaborative innovations initiated at the bottom of public agencies:
These projects are not born into a consolidated organisational framework – the consolidation is part of the leadership challenge.
They do not have a stable mandate that enables them to launch their innovation project on the proper level of influence – they have an uncertain, negotiable stop-and-go mandate.
Nor have institutional settings been developed that allow for collaborative action because there is no consensus concerning the nature of the problem, often a wicked one...
The claim in this article is that bottom-up innovations therefore demand much more leadership involvement than the facilitative style of its top-down cousin:
The ‘flat’, (or at least levelled), collaboration landscape is not an option for Bottom-up Collaborative Innovation Leadership ( ‘BUCIL’ for short). Instead we have a ‘hilly’ landscape, in which the innovation unit is forced to muster support for its collaborative innovation project by leadership-making through alternative influence channels, conditioned by local social processes of recognition...
... This makes the leadership challenge a facilitative one, allowing room for creativity within the defined frame of implementation.
This leadership approach is a problem when studying collaborative innovation that is bottom up in nature.
We can learn four points from the extensive empirical study by (Borins 2002, Borins 2000) concerning bottom-up innovation, namely that:
1. …’leadership making through informal or alternative leadership structures’ is crucial (Borins 2002:470)...
2. leadership is also required during the process of leadership-making...
3. initiative, perseverance and competence is important to reward, in that these skills are required for bottom-up innovation...
4. bottom-up innovation requires that politicians and top leadership embrace the initiative as their own...
Theory: Towards a bottom-up approach to leadership of collaborative innovation in the public sector...
Three key analytical concepts are proposed that make up the profile of BUCIL.
The concepts are inspired by Borins’ four points:
Ad points 1+2.:Collaborative leadership-making through relational processes, here conceptualized as leadership emergence through ‘recognition’ (Griffin 2002)...
Ad 3.: ‘Entrepreneurship’...
Ad 4.: ‘Sense-making’...
In the remainder of this theory section, these concepts will be further explained and related to each other. For now, the rationales behind the concepts are as follows:
- Collaborative leadership-making is crucial in that the bottom-up innovator needs influence through informal channels in order to carry the the innovation project up their own organisational hierarchies and across organisations...
- Entrepreneurship is my conceptualisation of Borins’ notion of ‘bottom-up’...
- Sense-making is a basic social condition in radical change processes (Weick 1995) for being able to deal with the uncertainty of the viability and risk associated with a collaborative innovation project, as described above...
Discussion: epistemology and methodology
The article set out to answer the question: How to study leadership for bottom-up collaborative innovations that seek to deal with wicked problems?
This leadership-making hinges on whether the innovation unit manages to introduce new, collaborative, organizational themes by the exploitation of the processes of uncertainty.
Bottom-Up Leadership: Idealist Adds New Vision For Organizing
Expect excellence. Set high but not unattainable standards and expect your employees to meet them. If your employees know you demand excellence of yourself, they're more likely to find it in themselves.
The key is to look for a job the same way you would look for a unique opportunity to create something better or new – a business, a product or service or maybe even a career.
Lauren Nichols's insight:
This article may not seem directly linked to my leadership development topic but, if you are developing you can use some of these tactics to reinvent yourself and possibly work your way into to a new role.
It takes more than three skills to succeed, but there are three that will make you pretty important in any organization.COMMUNICATIONFrom Moneyball: “If you’ve got a dozen pitchers, you need to speak
Lauren Nichols's insight:
The communication aspect is so very true and you must learn to recognize different types and styles of communication in order to effectively communicate with others...don't assume that you are bieng understood people cannot read your mind no matter how obvious you think the issue is! Check out "Successful Neuro-Linguistic Programming in a Week" teach yourself...by Mo Shapiro
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