Oxford University-trained, eminent Professor Roger Delves shares insights into why building and leading a culture of innovation is needed to succeed in this interview.
He also explains why executives should attend TEXEM UK’s forthcoming programme on Leading And Building A Culture Of Innovation For Sustainable Success.
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He and world-renowned Professor Randall Peterson of London Business School would help deliver this TEXEM executive development programme slated to hold between 23rd and 24th of March virtually.
How can leaders build a culture of innovation?
Leaders build the cultures they want in their teams by championing that culture themselves – by being the embodiment of the culture they want. So, to build a culture of innovation, the leader must constantly be innovating – continuous innovation through striving to do things better, and discontinuous innovation through seeking to do different things. Then they need to effectively communicate why their vision of ingenuity is critical for success. Also, the leader needs to inspire his team to enshrine experimentation as one of the key performance indicators across the board in the organisation.
Furthermore, the effective leader needs to empower the organisation to reward acts of creativity. The innovative leader will inspire managers and their teams to create an ambience of purpose, fun, care, collaboration and learning. Finally, the leader must also ensure that his organisational structure and systems allow the organisation to be agile, flexible, entrepreneurial and entrepreneurial. Examples of companies whose leaders have built innovation in their DNA include Tesla, Pixar and the government of Finland, who have embraced artificial intelligence and big data to optimise public sector impact.
Why is innovation critical in turbulent times?
Turbulence is a sign of change happening. Change is innovation in action – things are being done differently. There are opportunities to take these different things and do them better, and from what has changed can spring more new and different ideas – turbulence seeds innovation. While some organisations will die during these volatile times, many more innovative ones will be born during these challenging times. For example, WhatsApp, Instagram and Uber are innovative organisations that have positively transformed lives and were founded in 2009 during the global financial crisis.
How could leaders effectively respond to change?
First, leaders must recognise change for what it is: is it internally or externally imposed? Is it a sudden change or incremental change, and so on? We can only respond effectively to what we know and understand, so leaders must be masters of change, champions of change, and welcomers of change; to see, understand, and lead through the changes imposed on their team. Leaders should be intellectually agile and have a growth mindset to respond to change effectively. The leaders need to be positive and be experts in interpersonal relations such that they pay attention to the peoples’ input, impact and pushback on change. They need to communicate ‘why’ change is necessary and urgent.
How could leaders keep their team motivated in challenging times?
Different things inspire each of us, and the good leader has discovered the personal motivation of each of their close team members. Understanding what motivates individuals and using that to drive the team forward is a crucial leadership trait- having clearly understood the goals and a shared sense of purpose and doing something worthwhile will also help keep the team motivated. Motivation issues are fundamental as organisations embrace virtual work, and there are likely to be more instances of burnout and mental health challenges. Leaders can keep their people motivated by communicating regularly and building a culture of respect via listening, fairness, and creating a climate of psychological safety.
How could leaders develop organisations that optimise performance when the operating context is challenging?
Many individuals expect to work in challenging surroundings and even relish the challenge – but what they want and need is to feel supported as they face the challenges that the organisation sets them or that the external environment sets them. If they feel supported and understood and in a team with a shared sense of purpose, then they will rise to a challenge, learn and thrive. We will be covering more on this during the TEXEM’s forthcoming programme on the 23rd and 24th of March.
Why should leaders attend this forthcoming TEXEM programme, Building and Leading a Culture of Innovation?
These are perhaps the most challenging times the world has faced since the dark days of the nineteen forties. Leaders are faced with huge problems, both at the logistical/tactical/ transactional levels of getting things done and at the transformation/innovation/leadership /strategic interchange where their leadership skills are being tested in new and different ways daily. The opportunity to pause, reflect and consider, under the guidance of wise figures world-renowned for their wealth of experience and pedigree of helping organisations to thrive, is not one to be lightly passed over. The rigour of the TEXEM methodology that makes learning fun facilitates networking and is impactful is another reason why you should not miss this programme. These informed insights are not to be had every day.
For more information, please visit https://texem.co.uk/leading-and-building-culture-of-innovation-for-sustainable-success/
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