Companies, events and characters have all changed over time due to digital. Today’s leaders are have seen some of the highest turnover rates as a result of that evolution. The consumer is now in control across any and every brand and market, whether they are the customer, provider or both. To reach and engage with the digital consumer of today is a top priority, and ongoing understanding and conversation is required in the always-on world we operate within. For many organizations, this will require change and innovation from within. In order to truly innovate we should be looking into what is unknown and has not been tried before. It might be a calculated risk, something we know will not scale to the broader business or market today, but worth evaluating for what might be and where we should go next.
In order to be successful with bringing Innovation into your organization, I would highlight the following three focus points: Context, Complexity and Courage – all critical for success and strength going forward.
Strong leaders gather a variety of inputs and experiences from different priorities and preferences in the organization. Operating in the old manner of top down hierarchical leadership will not succeed for innovation. Understanding the organization, its business, technology and inner workings is critical to drive success with creativity and innovation. Those in the organization who stay on top of the latest trends (such as growth hacking and digital) methods of operation (such as agile and creativity) will likely be the best equipped to derive, develop and especially execute something that is feasible.
If this is ignored, the ideas and opportunities will likely struggle within the powers and influence in the broader team, regardless if the initiatives are being drafted by inside or outside parties.
Organizational environments will vary, among companies, departments and management teams. Innovation requires the flexibility to allow the employees to be more creative, and not simply tactical and execution focused. This requires investment by the leadership team to maximize alignment with the employee and area of focus in order to create a win-win with a supportive work environment. If they are not personally interested and aligned with their work, the organization will not likely notice the maximum return or result.
In order to generate significant ideas and exploration, the management teams must allow flexibility and room for consideration of the new ideas with a thoughtful response, even if it is a no-go decision at the end. This is especially true in the matrixed environment that many of us operate within today, where there are opportunities, but also barriers to implementing innovation.
While the organizational settings must be in place for innovation to move it also requires the courage and agility of the innovation team to continue on their mission and objectives while understanding the present operating models and organizations. Thinking beyond the short term needs is a must, along with support from stakeholders across the business. Clearly strategy without execution is a waste of both time and money. We can all dream into the clouds and broader universe, but then the business reality and existing priorities or business models brought us to where we are today, and they cannot be ignored in an existing business (clearly a small early stage startup organization would be different).
True leaders know what they know and do not – and realize that there are others who can impact their organization to help it move to the next level. Whether it is a topic, technology or technique, we all know there is area for growth and improvement. This applies in across all business disciplines and regions on a global scale. The understanding and ability to be open to all perspectives and backgrounds is what leads to success in innovation.
This article was originally published on HourlyNerd