Leading Innovation by Gary Bertwistle

has a key role to play in leading and creating a culture of innovation
and creativity where people are encouraged to think differently and put
forward their ideas. In your role as leader, particularly in leading
innovation, there are several ideas for you to consider to help you
foster an environment of creativity, innovation and thinking differently
within your organisation:

Remove constraints:

you are going to lead an innovative organisation, one of your key
objectives should be to remove the constraints in your company that are
hindering people from thinking differently. Many people feel constrained
because of too many meetings, too many processes, too much paperwork,
too much hierarchy, lack of resources, too great a workload and no
recognition for new ideas or different thinking. If you are a good
leader, you could look at these issues and take some action, rather than
dismiss them and essentially do nothing. Which leader are you?

Ignite new ideas:

some leaders believe it is their job to walk around the office, hear a
spark of an idea, and then tip a bucket of water over it. This can come
in the form of a sideways glance, a shake of the head or a snide
comment. These leaders believe their job is to judge and evaluate
people’s thinking for what’s wrong rather than what’s right or what
potential an idea might have. A leader who wants to encourage innovation
and a culture of thinking differently will instead carry a bucket of
petrol to really ignite the spark of an idea. They will have their eyes
and ears open for the opportunity to acknowledge the effort someone has
put into challenging an existing way of thinking.

Make Time:

the importance that thinking plays in the success or failure of your
business, it is vital to analyse how much time you and your team put
aside to really think. Most of us are too busy in meetings for 8 or 9
hours a day, bogged down in emails and phone calls to return. With
schedules like these, there is very little – if any – room for thinking.
It is a brave executive who will truly lead from the front and allow
people to take time to think. Give both yourself and your executives the
chance to work ON the business as opposed to always IN the business.
Many of Australia’s best organizations are increasingly allocating days
where there are no emails or appointments allowed. This is time for
teams to sit, ponder and discuss different ways of doing things.
Remember, it’s the thinking behind the doing that will ultimately win
the war against your competitors.

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