Innovation is not just a buzzword; it has gained a lot of traction over the last few years in the business world. Elon Musk rightly said, ‘Adapt or die’ which is the mantra that needs to be followed to survive in ‘ ‘today’s ever-changing technologically advanced world. Even those who denied innovation for the longest time have come to terms with its necessity and have jumped on the technology bandwagon. Innovating from time to time is not an easy task, and there is a need for multi-dimensional leaders. Top innovative leaders are the ones who , have a vision and drive their companies to anticipate and move ahead of time.
What exactly is innovation, and what does it have to do with leaders in today’s workforce?
Innovation is not about having the best idea or the biggest idea; innovation lies in the small ideas aimed at something much bigger. For example, Bajaj Finserv stems from the small idea of giving loans, but the larger picture is becoming the financial partner for every Indian and helping them realize their dreams. Even Instagram, for instance, while the idea is to communicate through pictures, aims to connect the world and ensure freedom of expression. Therefore, innovation is a combined affair involving ideation, development, and implementation.
Change has become the new normal, it is inevitable, and for organizations to last and survive, they need to be open to this non-stop innovation. For businesses, this means offering a two-way street. Things need to be looked at from a leadership standpoint- firstly, how these ideas climb up the hierarchy and secondly, gauging if the leaders are capable enough to foster them. A top innovative leader can incorporate management processes and structures that are conducive to innovation. These top leaders form an organic organizational structure that empowers employees to enhance their capabilities and develop and explore new ideas. The Industry leader value creator are not focused on planning where and when the innovation will take place; instead, they create an environment that encourages ideas, normalizing ‘unpredictable ‘innovation’ in the workplace.
Who are innovative leaders, and what qualities they must have?
Companies that have succeeded in innovation have had their top leaders reinforce the value and criticality of innovation. Classic examples of top corporate leaders in India who have done so are Anand Mahindra, Sanjiv Bajaj, Nithin Kamath, and the likes. Top innovative leaders ‘needn’t be powerful CEOs – they are creative visionaries who either have the ideas or have the inherent talent to inspire people around them and help make their innovative ideas a reality.
While an innovative leader must possess many distinct behaviors and traits, the two key attributes are communication and displaying a clear vision. It is not the fickle-minded who have achieved great heights but those who have been clear about the end goal and communicated that effectively to gather the required talent and support.
Top innovative leaders are good orators and can communicate the vision to gather enthusiasm for it. When you communicate well, people relate to you and are willing to give it their all in resources and time to achieve the end goal. By motivating and inspiring its audience, a leader is far more effective than leading by authority and demand.
Display Excellent Strategic Vision
A successful leader should help the team create a vision while envisioning the ‘business’ future and comprehending the benefits of innovation. You will always find these leaders thinking on their feet and staying ahead of the curve, which gives them a jumpstart compared to their competitors and takes them closer to success.
Apart from having a vision, conceptualization is also key. If you check out the top empowering leader’s list, they have a vision and are imaginative. Creating an environment of experimentation where the employees do not have to worry about the adverse consequences a and encouraging new techniques for innovation is what defines a top innovative leader.
The only thing constant is change, which is very prevalent in ‘ ‘today’s business world. The only way to keep up with the changing requirements is to be innovative. Innovative leadership is not about coming up with the idea but about engaging with employees at a deeper level to endorse innovative thinking. Leadership drives innovation, which in turn determines growth, enhances performance, and ensures overall organizational success.
The need for top innovative leaders in ‘ ‘today’s times is more than it has ever been. Innovative leadership is very future-oriented and holistic. These famous visionary leaders drive innovation by creating an environment conducive to fostering creativity and new ideas. Their motivation and encouragement are the driving force behind the ‘ ‘organization’s success. They equip their teams to change and respond in accordance with the changing requirements – both internal and external. In today’s day and age, organizations are continuously being challenged as new situations crop up ever so often; the recent one being the pandemic. Innovation is the answer to being able to survive this changing world. People often confuse top innovative leaders as the ones who ideate when, in fact, often, they are not the ones who innovate but are those who recognise the great ideas and help bring them to life.