Henry Ford was right on the money when he famously said “If you always do what you’ve always done you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”
Ford had no idea of the innovation that was to come in his lifetime and beyond, yet his words continue to have relevance decades after his death.
In any leadership role, it’s essential to walk the talk and lead by example, and this is particularly important relating to innovation and technology. Here we’re defining innovation as ‘applied creativity that achieves business value’ (David S. Weiss and Claude Legrand, Innovative Intelligence).
Executive surveys consistently highlight the gap between what is delivered by an organisation versus what leaders or consumers say they want, and this has been coined the ‘innovation gap’. The processes and types of thinking that make leaders successful in the first place are in fact what hold them back when it comes to moving forward and being innovative. Analytical thinking is a powerful tool in solving complicated issues but it is innovative thinking that is required to continue to increase productivity and achieve business value.
Often innovation springs out as a result of a crisis in the market or in response to a problem or challenge. For example, Benjamin Franklin invented bifocals as his eyesight worsened. Necessity is the mother of invention, as they say.
But not all innovation has to be at such a significant level, nor does it have to take significant innovation to inspire your team. Something as simple as being seen to do something differently can be all it takes for leaders to inspire innovation. The use of Information Technology is an obvious area where leaders can introduce new processes or strategies, and lead by example to create a culture of innovation.
For me and I know for many people I work with, and all the amazing innovators out there, innovation can appear through that A-ha moment. That moment when your mind is quiet and an idea just pops into your head. That happens to me all the time especially when I am swimming. Listen to them! What are they trying to tell you? Hence over Xmas, some innovations popped into my head. Well it is summer over here and lots of swimming!
So I decided to build a Leadership Innovation Magazine. At Leadership HQ we most certainly believe in leading by example and are being seen as doing something different to inspire and lead our clients and partners. My idea was to harness technology to inspire and encourage innovation through our brand new online LeadershipHQ e-Magazine which will bring you the latest insights in the business world and up to date strategies on leadership. Way cool…
Our innovation through technology doesn’t stop there! We also launched a Leadership App. I was so excited when we launched this. Our LeadershipHQ app provides you with cutting edge and practical insights, knowledge and research in leadership. Available for both Apple and Android devices, we wanted to innovate something that will assist you to be the best leader you can be. Of course, the app will include the latest in our services, consulting, blogs, and invitations to our great events, videos and insights, it’s all there. Now that is what I call innovation! Why – because we thought outside the square and we saw a need to bring to the market ideas and solutions that focussed on our purpose and our WHY.
There are so many leadership magazines and interventions out there but we wanted to develop ideas that were easy to read, use and educate. Something informative, inspirational and practical. Innovation takes persistence, passion and purpose. Think about the Wright Brothers, Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates. And by the way, we are looking for contributors too, we want to share everyone’s innovations and ideas around leadership. We are in the business of thinking outside the square so we can be the best leaders we can be.
What are you doing to think differently and bring into your world; innovation…
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