Leaders in Innovation: What Makes Them Who They Are
Innovation is the dynamic process of developing new or disruptive products, methods, or services. It doesn’t occur by accident or in a vacuum. Instead, innovation is guided by leaders who understand its demands and complexities, and are willing to share this knowledge with others. Innovation leaders share specific traits that naturally suit them to this role. These leaders are:
Visionaries. Innovative leaders can see what is possible, can convey this vision to their team, and establish the necessary pathways to achieve it.
Focused on the Consumer. True innovation creates a valued product or service for consumers, and innovation leaders never forget the end users. They understand that innovation without market value is a wasted effort.
Active rather than Influencers. Innovation leaders do more than discussing its importance; they demonstrate it with every decision they make. Their enthusiasm and commitment encourages others to act and is the most powerful tool for change within any organization.
Creators of a Climate of Trust. Innovation is risky and not all projects will succeed. Innovation leaders develop strong and positive collaborative relationships and do not punish failure. In open innovation environments, trust also includes mutual intellectual property protections.
The Embodiment of Integrity. For these people, doing what is right for the company and the customer is more important than blinding following their boss or high-level executives. They act ethically in all actions and decisions.
Silo Breakers. They understand that innovation can come from anyone within or outside an organization, and limiting contributions based on job title or department undermines the process.
Persuasive. They share their ideas with excitement and enthusiasm, engaging team members to support their development, rather than coercing them into agreement.
Focused on Market Responsiveness. Innovation development must be timely, or great ideas will languish while competitors take the advantage. Innovation leaders reduce the time from concept to product-on-shelf to capture market share and retain market relevance.
Proactive. They search for external technologies and ideas, developing collaborations that lead to joint success. Innovation leaders don’t wait for these opportunities to knock on their doors, but actively pursue them.
Resilient. Innovation leaders stand up to skeptics and hold firm to their ideas. Too many nay-sayers are most comfortable with “how we always do it” and keep the organization mired in the past. Innovation leaders are not swayed by these arguments, and keep moving forward.
Innovation is a complex process that requires powerful tools for effective management. Ezassi’s Innovation Management Software provides both the structure and flexibility you need to connect with collaborators, protect intellectual property, and manage the concept from inception through market entry. Contact us to learn more, or request a demonstration for a hands-on experience of this innovation support powerful tool.