Challenges facing business today are dynamic and hence uncertainty is palpable. A few years ago it was easy to forecast, plan ahead and place bets for a business to succeed. However, this is not the case today and that is the main reason as to why businesses need innovation leadership.
In simple terms, innovation leadership is a philosophy or style of leadership where leaders and employees use different methods to produce new and creative products, services or ideas.
This is a style of leadership which achieves one specific goal which is to come up with new or creative ideas, products or services which take care of the changing needs of the customers.
Unlike the past, innovation leadership is what helps big companies and businesses stay relevant for a long time. A company that used to provide postal mail services for example; now is an internet provider so as to be able to stay relevant and tap into the needs of people who are now using electronic mail.
This kind of leadership has been used and is being used in Silicon Valley companies including Google and Tesla to immense success rates.
Why Innovation leadership matters
The significance and importance of innovation leadership in today’s business world can’t be ignored. Doing business in the 21st century does not only involve planning ahead or strategic planning in order to overcome challenges. Normally when a business is faced with a challenge, the leaders are able to study the problem until they understand it and thus get a solution for it. Nonetheless, not all problems have the same patterns and may not be solved with the same approach as of yester years.
Another very important aspect of solving a problem is time. There is simply not enough time to study a problem, understand it and get a solution for it. Sometimes even the solution is not definite and it is all about trial and error. By the time leaders keep looking and try to apply the most suitable solution the business would have already sunk into bankruptcy.
In order to make effective sense of complex challenges and situations which are unfamiliar, leaders need to grasp the unknown variables of the problems which include the mysterious forces not foreseen. This thus requires more than just the daily normal analytical skills applied in everyday life, it requires innovation leadership.
Components of Innovation Leadership
Innovation leadership has two main components:
- Innovative leadership: This applies directly to business leaders and simply means to bring new thinking and actions on how to lead, manage or go about your work. Business leaders should ask themselves: how can I be able to solve a problem quick enough without knowing much about it and find a solution that is not only permanent but innovative so as to prosper the business to the next level?
- Leadership for Innovation: One approach to leadership is providing a platform for other people in the company or business to give suggestions, solutions and ideas to matters concerning the business. Leadership for innovation simply entails business leaders offering a platform to other members to come up with innovative ideas and solution as well as being able to implement them effectively. The leaders, in this case, should be able to help others think differently and find solutions in times of little or strained resources and new challenges.
The above approaches provide the kind of leadership that generates the next new product, design or services.