Leadership and Innovation, Why Does It Matter?

Definitely that a company which has a visionary, or ground breaking leader is likely to fulfil its development dreams than one which will not. Furthermore, a head too concerned with advancement is likely to bring about a rudderless company. Therefore what is the perfect situation? Why does it matter? www.3dinnovations.com.sg/hdb-reno-packages

We believe a leader has to support and nurture innovation, lead by example. It is far from enough just to speak about innovation, activities are required to show such a commitment. You need to be regular in your approaches, you are unable to switch resources between primary activities and innovation on the whim. You need to have appropriate resources in location to manage both activities, recognising their differences. What works for managing primary activities, are unlikely to work managing innovation. 

So why does it matter? Research have shown that firms see innovation as a top-three business priority. Ascertaining this, they accept that senior management must be involved, although, as data from the next surveys shows, to a smaller level than one might expect.

A 2007 McKinsey record, “How Companies Approach Innovation” considered innovation and command as part of the survey. When questioned as to the ‘types of innovation decisions made by leadership teams’, the replies were as follows:

? ‘We determine where you should focus creativity efforts’ – 64%;

? ‘We make commercialization decisions’ – 52%;

? ‘We decide who will work on creativity projects’ – 50%;

? ‘We make go/no-go decisions, release funding at various items during innovation process’ – 47%;

? ‘We define topics, subject areas for exploration to build up breakthrough ideas’ – 42%;

? ‘We make decisions on mergers and acquisitions’ – 28%;

? ‘We set creativity budgets’ – 24%;

? ‘We set innovation performance metrics, targets’ – 22%.

Of equal interest, the review also considered ‘ways by which innovation is governed in your organisation’. 36% of top managers reported it turned out discussed ‘as necessary among the list of senior leadership team’. 34% reported that it was part of the regular agenda of the senior management team. Of real surprise, only 10% reported that it was through an ‘innovation authorities or innovation leadership team’.

Having accepted that development is a top management ‘job’, it is unsatisfactory to notice the response from the next BCG survey that only approximately one-quarter of CEOs drive innovation.

The research conducted by Boston ma Consulting Group, “Innovation 2010 A Return to Popularity – and the Beginning of a New Globe Order” questioned who is ‘the biggest force traveling innovation at your company? Unsurprisingly, the top answer was your Chief full-time officer, with 28% of responses. The surprise was your number – less than one-third of firms noted that innovation is driven by the CEO! The same report also considered obstacles to ‘generating a return on your investments in innovation’ and it is interesting to note that ‘insufficient support from leadership and management’ was only cited by 20%, the tenth top answer.

Research undertaken by McKinsey entitled “Innovation and Commercialisation 2010” noted that 27% of respondents reported that ‘gaining leadership alignment’ was a ‘significant command and organisational challenge’ confronted by companies. Other answers to the same question included ‘aligning human and financial resources’ 35%; ‘overcoming internal corporate politics’ thirty percent; and ‘lack of a formalised process’ 29%.

Once again, this McKinsey research illustrates that leadership alignment is critical to the development process. So what? Upcoming posts will consider command and innovation in more detail, and in particular how to inspire the organisation in its creativity efforts.

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