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To stay ahead of the competition, a company needs to constantly innovate, especially in the times when new highways and skyscrapers can change a city's look overnight and new flavors in your coffee at your favorite cafe change as fast as it takes to brew a cupful.
But, the question is what does it take to innovate? It takes out-of-the-box thinking in terms of smart strategies, the ability to conceptualize something that is unseen by others and to have the courage to risk everything and bring it out first to lead the industry.
However, in an organization, employees with creative powers and important project managerial roles often lack the organizational support to go with something innovative and brilliant in the fear of being snubbed by the boss or the leader. More often than not, leaders start assuming totalitarian powers over the company's workforce and direct them to work according to certain set parameters and guidelines, such that each and every project starts becoming clone of the other. In our experience, it is this clone-building practice at the level of leadership that causes grave impediments towards healthy and vibrant organizational environment.
In other words, lack of committed leadership support for innovation is the single largest barrier to employees bringing out their very best and being innovative – everyday.
To check whether the leaders of your company are amply motivating the younger and ambitious work force or not, start by seeing whether they are too much into appeasing clients. If they are themselves in the constant fear of rejection by clients and have restricted the use of their brainstorming and creative faculties, chances are they will lead in a negative manner and discourage the teams working under them from carrying out any innovative plan, idea or strategy.
Another great sign to look for is which of the ‘Three-S Mindset’ does your leadership predominantly use to run the business?
- ‘Start-Up’ attitude: meaning do they love to experiment a lot, fail, learn, and keep experimenting until something new arises? They are customer driven to find solutions to the unmet needs of the market or enhance current portfolio of products to make them better – constantly.
- Scale attitude: here, the leaders have the courage to invest and grow the business fast. Leaders have demonstrated the required balance between growth and optimization, but are driven by speed to market.
- Status-Quo: here the leaders are wired for keeping things as is and not rocking the boat too much. Here leaders have very low risk-tolerance, proactive about cutting costs, optimize everything, and do not show commitment to long-term investments?
In our experience, leaders cannot afford to only use one mindset; they must use all the three above really well. This means organize the company strategies, structure, teams, and systems to leverage all three without causing disruption or disengagement of the workforce.
Every leadership development program must address development of the ‘Three-S’ mindsets. The DeSai Groups’ leadership programs are based on the principles of rationality and address the inner conflicts of leaders that restrict them from ‘thinking out the box’ and the invisible biases that limit their full attention to innovation and dynamism. Our leadership development programs are based on achieving two broad goals -- the motivation to motivate by engaging leaders of your company in self-awareness programs so that they come face to face with their own weaknesses and mental block against innovation and to show them how your company is under-performing due to these personal limitations.
Thus, The DeSai Group encourage and trains leaders to become sensitive to the talents and skills of the work force while leveraging the experience and expertise of the best talent pools within. Leaders are taught to promote diversity, challenge status-quos, practice three-dimensional thinking, and identify emerging patterns for themselves and their subordinates that will propel innovation in the company. Ultimately, this will allow your company to benefit from their power to innovate.
To build a climate and culture of innovation is a long-term process, which must happen at all levels: leadership, middle-management, work-teams, and at the individual level.
Do not waste your company’s hard earned money on any innovation training workshops until you have hard evidences that your leaders at the top are truly ready to walk-the-talk about innovation process themselves. Only then, you can expect teams and individuals to embrace innovation as way of life in your company.
You must be having certain parameters or yardsticks to judge the performance of your organization and exactly calculate the return on investment (ROI) vis-à-vis the planning, the performance and the potential. Despite all the available mechanisms of analysis, most leaders fail to understand the immeasurable gap between speculations and reality. The root cause of this immeasurable gap can certainly be tracked down to a few intangible factors. Primary among them is the capacity to innovate for a particular brand, organization or a corporate entity.
The major problem faced by an organization is the absence of a clear directive or formula to innovate. The work force, which is a major decider of innovation, largely works as a cog in the machine rather than a radical unit intelligent enough to innovate as hierarchical processes are better preferred by a linear human resource.
Another area which makes innovation a difficult process to be imbibed by your workforce is lack of liberty to express in a highly structured system. Whenever there is lack of liberty at an individual level, an organization fails to innovate on the whole. More structured-driven the culture, harder it is to embrace innovation; which by its nature, is somewhat unstructured.
Organizational culture is a result of inherited and tolerated past behaviors of the staff; especially the leaders at the top. Organization suffers from lack of innovation due to contemporary business practices and the nearby environment it operates in. Thus, innovation as a process should begin at the level of an individual with full support of the leaders. This can lend a character to an organization where performance, profit and potential grow manifold by significant innovation on intangible, impromptu research, and management decisions.
How ready is the culture for innovation?
How adept your workforce is with a dynamic knowledge system or how porous they are with circumstance fluctuation are simple questions which help you to approximately understand how innovative your organization is. However, to ensure that your organization is ready for such innovation trials you need to first make sure that your organization is innovation-ready.
At The DeSai Group, our innovation consulting processes are deliberate and drastic. They are designed to be transformative in nature. We believe in a sustained innovation strategy instead of piecemeal innovation. This means that our consulting techniques rely heavily on a dramatic change to completely undermine forces of resistance and new growth opportunities. As necessity is the mother of invention, we facilitate an environment in your organization where necessity is induced to alter psychological performance and create a climate of innovation. The process makes your workforce rehearse find measures of self-innovation. This means there are real entrepreneurs working on their passions in an environment that promotes experimentation, risk-taking, and future thinking.
The right brand image within insiders of an organization is a necessary precondition for any kind of innovation. If a nagging employee has a negative attitude toward the organization’s optimism the result is not only affecting the performance of the concerned individual but the overall environment as well. Such individuals can be motivated through vigorous team-building and venturing skills.
The process of innovation is largely a psycho-social process wherein knowledge transfer and experiential methods are largely employed to achieve the goal. We, here at The DeSai Group, clinically approach the intangibility quotient of innovation through hard-core rational, analytical science we call “Innovation Execution Methodology”, while keeping in mind that innovation is also very much a form of art and it is the artistic and unpredictability that actually gives rise to new ideas for commercialization and value generation.
Help your organization with Leadership development programs - critical ingredient for innovation and growth.
Leaders are not created leaders are born; is a partly flawed argument. In our experience working with Fortune clients since 1983, born leaders are mostly charismatic but they have a tendency to topple organizational values, principles and sometime ethics. That is, they are not true leaders, they are greedy managers. In the short run they can be unprecedented but for a sustained long term growth such charismatic leaders can be detrimental.
Various reasons can support the argument.
Any above average charismatic leader in a short span makes an impact and convinces the top line management to believe in his convictions. The team assigned to the leader soon follows the diktats of the concerned leader and get used to her or his way of conduct. Failures, misappropriations and disapprovals in such circumstances affect the nerve of the organization heavily because of over reliance on the leader. Same goes true with success stories. The flip side of such methods of leadership is clear devaluation of potential of the large work force. Such leadership tendencies are hierarchical and in most cases create a rift of ideology between large sets of people.
In case the leader quits the organization, the entire team crumbles and suffers from a confidence crisis. The situation becomes so worse that newer measures are often treated in comparison to the last leader. In extreme cases employees quit the organization and seek to join their old leader.
Thus every leadership development training program should make leaders out of ordinary employees based on their loyalty, potential and dedication. Leadership programs should focus within the parameters laid by the organization so that never the will of the leader challenges the authority of the organization. Such systematic leadership creates a deep respect for the organization and not the leader only. Innovation best happens under such circumstances of equality of law. In fact all successful organizations of today in any format of business create organizational leadership over personal leadership.
Leadership development programs from The DeSai Group, are targeted towards building pipeline of leaders from within by developing existing employees. Every leader should be groomed and customized to outperform. We believe that best leaders are those who are pushed beyond their current capacity, it is only then the person can tap into the undiscovered capability and the reservoir of potential within. These types of leaders should be taught to stretch their thinking beyond their comfort zone and assure never to endanger the will of the organization at large. Rather the leadership development workshops would stabilize the vision of the organization through proto organizations in the form of leaders. That is, true leaders walk the talk everyday.They should be the ideal role models for leadership for everyone.
The DeSai Group engages with clients to build leaders that can drive performance but also innovation. Too many leadership programs only focus on developing expected outcomes. That mindset cannot work any longer. Organizations must demand leaders to go beyond just the left-brain metrics of performance to whole-brain approach for strategic growth and value creation. It is imperative to build leaders that can out-perform but also out-compete in the turbulent markets.
The DeSai Group’s leadership programs are highly constructed with balance of science and art. These programs focuses on leadership performance bereaved of emotional impact. The psychological effect of a leader will be minimized and a leader would lead simply because he is not better than others but by the fact that he has tested leadership skill acknowledged by colleagues and employees.