Businesses have to innovate continually to keep their market share and grow their profit margin. If they fail to do so, they put themselves at the risk of being overtaken by their competitors. Here are ways leaders can become more innovative.
Practice What You Preach
Leaders should formulate strategies to bring change to their organizations. In numerous organizations, employees emulate what their leaders do and not what they say. Workers feel disgruntled when they are constantly reminded to focus on something their managers show little interest in performing.
Therefore, if a leader wants to encourage innovation, they must consistently show commitment to this goal. They must design and support innovative projects and exercise new and more effective ways of working.
Cultivate an Innovative Culture
Leaders must strive to cultivate an innovative culture in their companies. They can take several actions to make it more comfortable for the staff to be innovative. One of the actions is to ensure that there are sufficient resources to accelerate innovation. In many organizations, leaders want the employees to be innovative but have limited time to do creative things besides daily routine demands. Incentives such as innovation competitions go a long way in encouraging employees to share new ideas.
Additionally, leaders must understand that failure is inevitable. For a leader to champion innovative ideas, they must be failure tolerant. Not every idea will materialize to become the next Amazon. They must understand that not every innovative idea will result in a strong return on investment. Instead, they should encourage workers to keep trying – perhaps the next idea will transform the world.
Give Teams the Right Tools
Besides cultivating a culture of innovation, leaders must make sure workers have the right tools to innovate. Each innovative strategy requires a unique set of tools. For instance, design thinking can draw businesses closer to their customers’ needs, while the blue ocean strategy is suitable for business model innovation.
Speed Up Decision Making
Decision-making is an essential skill for innovative leaders. Innovative leaders make their decisions in a unique way. They make decisions quickly because they have trust in their employees. These leaders may not wholly understand a matter, but they rely on their teams’ expertise to make informed decisions.