5 ways to be an innovative leader!


Innovation is the essential tool for the success of organisations these days. Innovation should come from all levels of organisations, but how leaders can make sure if they foster the right environment for innovation?

A leader apart from providing general direction and necessary leadership functions should be able to encourage creativity in their team. But how can a leader be innovative and encourage it through the team? There are some qualities that make a creative leader, you can adopt as many of them you can to improve your approach in this field.

1- Being ready to accept risk

The fact is a team needs freedom to be innovative and the potential downside of it includes mistakes, failure or financial loss. Even though all these can be really damaging a business, but they are like sub-products of innovation. So, a leader should have some tolerance for mistakes, failure and losing money! A leader should be able to accept an element of risk, for without freedom there would be no mistakes. And eliminating freedom stops innovation altogether.

2- Being able to work with half-baked ideas

For any idea to be a fully developed one, there is a long journey. It takes a while for an idea to be mature and perfect. But it is essential for a leader to be able to listen and encourage these ideas as many new good ideas just jump out of these. A listening leader motivates staff with their unready and young idea and knows it might be the start of something really good.

3- Being ready to bend rules

An organisation can’t be run without rules and systems, but they also can stop innovation. A leader should respect the rules, but also he should be able to make necessary changes if necessary. Rules can sometimes be stretched where they cannot be broken. It gives a space and freedom to develop unexpected innovative ideas.

4- Being agile and able to respond quickly

The world of innovation is fast and being quick and decisive is an essential quality for an innovative leader. Innovative organisations must have leaders who are able to commit resources and not to defer everything to committees or higher authorities. Small resources now, is better than a big one next year! Promising ideas should have access to resources fast and easy.

5- Personal passion

Good innovative leaders are highly motivated and eager. They are not only motivated themselves, but also very good at motivating others to stimulate their intelligence and abilities. This skill of a leader can bring teams together and make a healthy competition which everyone wins at the end and will result in more innovative and creative organisation.

At the end don’t forget that innovation is everyone’s job in an organisation and leadership has the power to make the environment ready for that.

Just think how many of these qualities you have and how you can develop more of them in your daily business life?

Originally published on Entrepreneurship and Innovation Hub Blog

Reference: Leadership for Innovation; John Adair, 2007


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