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Developing Innovative Leaders

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Innovation + Leadership = Competitive Advantage and Sustainability

The DeSai Group's latest research suggests that organizations that prioritize innovation as a core competency and develop leaders who possess the characteristics to create a climate conducive for innovation, consistently outperform their competitors in nearly every category including top-line growth and bottom-line profitability. Employees cannot successfully innovate unless their leaders empower them to do so in an environment that values and rewards their contributions.

Behaviors of Innovation Leaders:

Through our work with executives in their respective fields, we have observed that there are certain characteristics and behaviors exhibited by those that could be considered to be "Great Innovation Leaders".

Research at The DeSai Group has uncovered four of the most critical behaviors that are essential for success as an innovation leader. These are:

  • Collaboration: A leader's ability to work as a true partner with other stakeholders within as well as outside of their organization adds significant value and competitive advantages not often recognized by leaders who remain insular.
  • Customer Focused: True innovative leaders always keep a razor sharp perspective on who their customer/s are.  This pertains to the internal as well as the external customer and involves an intuitive understanding of existing as well as anticipated future needs.
  • Quick and Effective Decision Making: Great innovation leaders make wise decisions quickly and effectively. This often occurs because they have established strong cross-functional communication channels and are informed about matters that are vital to decision making. 
  • Embrace Change: Great leaders understand that continuous change creates significant opportunities for growth and if a leader is unwilling or unable to continually adapt in today's business environment, it impedes the entire process of innovation.

Finding leaders that possess all of these traits is challenging. Developing these in others can be even more challenging. Some believe these are behaviors that are innate, but there is evidence that they can be cultivated over time. 

Do you agree?

Can they be built?

What would you consider the most important behavior? -

We would love to hear from you - join our community and collaborate on this and other issues...

- Dan

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