What I love about this piece is that it makes innovation into more than a catch phrase or a corporate buzz word. For over 25 years, she has studied business management techniques, innovation and corporate culture. Guess what…a huge game-changing innovation like Twitter comes from a very small idea on the nature of communication itself.
Overview[ edit ] To have a clear understanding of what innovation leadership involves, one must first understand the concept of innovation. Although there is some controversy over how it can be defined, through general consensus in the literature, it can be described as novel ideas of viable products that are put into operation.
Idea Generation Evaluation Implementation The two types of innovation include exploratory innovation, which involves generating brand new ideas, and value-added innovation, which involves modifying and improving ideas that already exist.
Innovation should also not be confused with creativitywhich is merely the generation of a novel idea that may not necessarily be put into operation—though these words are sometimes used interchangeably in research literature when speaking about innovation leadership.
Innovation leadership is a complex concept, as there is no single explanation or formula for a leader to follow to increase innovation.
As a result, innovation leadership encompasses a variety of different activities, actions, and behaviors that interact to produce an innovative outcome. Value-added Innovation[ edit ] Exploratory and value-added innovation require different leadership styles and behaviors to succeed.
Companies whose innovation leaders use transactional leadership for value-added innovation purposes include Toyota Motor Co. Occasionally a value-added innovation may require a completely new way of thinking and possibly taking new risks.
An example of this scenario can be illustrated through Aspirin; this was an existing product, traditionally used as an analgesic to alleviate aches and pains, but has been introduced into a new and different market by extending its uses to help prevent heart attack and reduce blot clot formation.
In this example, the usage of an existing product was re-worked and introduced into a new market. In this case, a transformational leadership style is a more appropriate style to use. The innovation leader must gauge if and how much risk and radical thinking are involved in the value-added innovation to determine which leadership style to use in a situation.
The leader must be flexible—able to switch leadership behaviors when necessary.
Exploratory Innovation[ edit ] Exploratory innovation refers to the generation of novel ideas, strategies, and solutions through the use of strictly open behaviors exhibited most often by transformational leaders.
The foundation of exploratory innovation is characterized by search, discovery, experimentation, and risk taking.
It is the organization's focus on generating new ideas, products and strategies; in contrast to exploitative innovation, which focuses on building and extending already existing ideas.
Some studies have shown that explorative and exploitative innovation require different structures, strategies, processes, capabilities, and cultures. Exploratory innovation requires flexibility, opportunism, adaptability, and for leaders to provide intellectual stimulation to their subordinates.
The behaviors exhibited are believed to achieve the desired creative outcome from employees through the application of individualized consideration, charisma, and inspirational motivation. The result of this experiment after six months was new business ideas for products and services. The organization may need to switch gears and adopt exploitative strategies to revise and refine the idea to match present needs.
Foundations of Innovation Leadership[ edit ] Innovation leadership has roots in path-goal theory and leader-member exchange theory. Certain elements within an organization are also needed for innovation leadership to succeeded. Additional foundational elements for innovation leadership include creative work, a creative workforce, and certain leader attributes.
However, it is contingent on employee and environmental factor to be effective. It follows the same idea as Path-goal theory and innovation leadership, that multiple leadership styles are necessary in managing multiple subordinates but takes it a step further.
LMX involves adopting a unique leadership style for each employee. Past studies indicate that LMX theory has been shown to have an effect on innovation. Basu and Green  found that innovative behavior is related to the quality of the leader-member exchange where high quality exchanges include contributions from both the leader and the follower.
Leadership styles, transformational positively related and transactional negatively relatedwere found to have an effect on innovativeness. Organizational culture refers to an organization's deep structure, normative beliefs, and shared behavioral expectations.
This culture is fairly constant and can influence interorganizational relations. Climate refers to the way that individuals perceive the extent to which the organizational culture impacts them. The two essentially are interrelated. One proposed model for assessing a creative environment in organizations includes the following dimensions: It operates at three major levels, each level containing multiple aspects.Relying on some of the strategies used by world market leaders, Phil Swisher examines the ways leaders can foster a culture of innovation within their organizations.
How to Lead Successful Innovation: Lessons from Experts.
by Phil Swisher. Another opportunity for leadership in innovation is the example that a leader sets in the way they lead innovation. Organizations with histories of traditional thinking will need time and space to be innovative.
Innovation leadership is a philosophy and technique that combines different leadership styles to influence employees to produce creative ideas, products, and services. The key role in the practice of innovation leadership is the innovation leader.
Dr. And yet, despite its importance, innovation is a difficult quality to cultivate both in leaders and in organizations.
In Conference Board’s CEO Challenge study, CEOs ranked “human capital” and “innovation” as their top two long-term challenges to driving business growth.
Innovation leadership is a quite complex concept, as there is no single explanation or formula for a leader to follow to increase innovation. As a result, innovation leadership encompasses a variety of different, activities, actions, and behaviors that interact with one another to produce an innovative outcome.
“Innovation that may pour forth from “your keyboard” is NO DIFFERENT than any other innovation that may pour forth from any other area of innovation.” It is different in the sense that it is protected from government interference, notably with the First Amendment.