Author, Speaker + Strategic Advisor on Innovation
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Instilling Innovative Behaviours

30th Sep 2015
Author, Speaker + Strategic Advisor on Innovation
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When you become a parent you start to realise the worth of some of those sayings which your own parents and grandparents trotted out on numerous occasions. Sayings such as ‘if wishes were horses poor men would ride’ or ‘I want never gets’ can be a good way of starting to explain that in life something won’t automatically happen just because you want it to.

It’s a lesson which some people understand quickly whilst others take a lifetime to master. But once learnt it is a lesson which can carry people through adversity and into the creation of greatness. And at heart it’s a simple lesson; if you want something then you have to create the conditions which will lead to your desired outcome.

Let’s look at building a culture of innovation for example. There is overwhelming evidence that business leaders consider innovative behaviour to be a key driver of future development but there is also evidence to show that the pathways towards innovation which leaders are adopting are many and varied. Some seem to believe that simply by standing up in front of their organisation and announcing that from now on we are going to be innovative, change will automatically follow. Others seem to believe that a note in the annual report is sufficient whilst others seem to adopt the idea that as long as words such as innovation or innovative are included in every piece of marketing and product information then the organisation must be doing something different.

I could just blame the parents for bringing up organisational leaders who have not mastered the idea of designing an end goal and working towards it; but from my work with business leaders I understand that a large part of the problem comes from the fact that building a culture of innovation can require a complete cultural shift and this may well be the first time that leaders are faced with such a potentially seismic level of change throughout the organisation. Make no mistake, a culture of innovation requires a change in behaviours, procedures, processes and attitudes across the board and one of the first things to change may have to be the nature of leadership itself.

Leading a culture of innovation is not simply a question of establishing an innovation strategy. Before a culture of innovation can be embedded within an organisation leaders have to become innovation leaders, enabled to deliver new direction and practices; ones which embrace behaviours such as empowerment, collaboration, initiative and adaptability. If organisational leaders cannot assimilate the required behaviours into their everyday actions and decisions then there is little hope of innovative behaviours cascading throughout their organisation.

Building a culture of innovation is not rocket science but it won’t happen just because you want it to. Taking an organisation from the now towards a desired level of innovation maturity requires structure and planning if it is to succeed. If you’d like to learn more about shaping the future through adopting an innovation culture feel free to email Cris at [email protected] or visit www.thefutureshapers.com for more information on how Cris and his team help some of the worlds smartest companies succeed through innovation.

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