What are the unique skill sets needed for innovation leadership? We all have a list of what good leadership skills are but what are the unique ones you need to be a true innovation leader? Today on Killer Innovations, I will discuss what I have found to be the skills needed for successful innovation leadership.
Innovation Leadership Skills
These leadership skills apply to all organizations, whether you are small organizations or a large organization.
- You need to trust the people you are working with.
- You need to know they are looking out for what is in the best interest for the team and organization.
- Vision and Strategy.
- Team members are looking to the leaders to communicate what the vision and strategy are.
- You need to look longer range beyond where the team is and roll that back in so they can see what your vision is.
- You need to be able to tell the story, make the pitch, share their dream with others.
- Communication is critical to successful innovation leadership,
- If you are going to be a leader you need to be able to interact and build relationships and truly have interests in other people’s lives.
- Know what is going on in your team member’s lives so you can help them eliminate distractions and really get their head in the game.
- You have got to persuade people to leave what they are doing now and join your team.
- You have to be able to convince them that what are doing is something worth their time.
- Adaptability and Flexibility.
- As a leader you cannot be rigid; you have to be adaptable and flexible with your team and organization.
- Can you operate as a leader of a team?
- You need diversity on your team to be successful.
- Coach and Develop.
- Find young and upcoming people and coach and develop them.
- You have to be comfortable making the final decision.
- Realize that sometimes the decision you make are going to fail.
- Planning and Organizing.
- If you are not good at planning and organizing, then hire people to do it for your team.
These are the basic skills you need to be a successful innovation leader. So, what skills do you need to do differently to truly be an innovation leader?
- Innovation leadership involves taking risks.
- You have to be comfortable that some of the decisions you make are going to fail.
- Some of your decisions are going to be flipped.
- You need to keep looking for new opportunities and threats.
- Look for threats to your organization, industry, or geography.
- Innovation is about change.
- Stability is the death of innovation.
- Foster a culture where change is expected.
- Do not rest on the traditional management techniques.
- Every situation is different.
- You need to invent the way you manage and do leadership.
- Be an optimist.
- Innovation is about being an optimist.
- You need to convince and convey an optimistic view of the future.
- Innovator’s cut through the crap.
- Innovation leaders need to cut through the crap and get to the core.
- You need to step in and stop the corporate game-playing.
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Thinking Beyond the Obvious
The challenges on the creativity innovation side does not change based on scale. It is the same whether you have a five-person team or a fifty-person team. The challenge is operating and innovating at the same level. A lot of companies get in a rut because they are doing what they have always done. So, how do you push yourself and people to go beyond the obvious and do the next thing?
- Break the rules.
- Corporate anti-bodies will come after new ideas; you need to recognize that these antibodies exist.
- Sometimes you are the corporate antibody.
- You have to think differently.
- You have to unlearn what you have been taught when it comes to conforming.
- Make sure that you challenge yourself to go beyond the obvious answer to questions.
- It is all about asking
- How do you ask questions that will make you think about something you have not considered before?
- How do you ask those killer questions?
- Better questions get you better answers.