Lead From The Front. Give Hope to Your Team.

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In our last post, we shared how it’s the repetition that matters for innovation success. It’s the reps that count. Train on the basics, work on your repetitions.

When you think about this strategically, it looks like this.

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These are the five basic steps we advocate to help leaders figure out where to go next for growth.

Since our last post, we’ve spent the previous weeks with client teams on many levels. From the craftsman founder of an under 10 employee start-up, to mid-market privately held execs, department level managers from a fortune 50, a university led innovation education event. A new leader in a large company tasked with creating an innovation team. Working executive education with a large company and their multi-cultural global product development team in Europe.

All different industry segments, all different functions and departments, including hardware and software engineering, marketing, product management, sales, and the manufacturing/operations teams.

We’ve collaborated with great leaders. All have key skills of curiosity and passion that are helpful in starting their own personal innovation journey. This curiosity and passion will help their individual probability of success. Each deeply care about the people on their teams.  Each want their team members engaged and growing, developing each individual to an increasing and meaningful contribution level within their companies.

But take note, there are two key differentiators in some of those individuals, their leadership styles, and how their teams will ultimately become successful.

First, these leaders make well informed, but very fast decisions of what to do and, most importantly, what not to do.

Second, the successful leaders are choosing to own the innovation initiative themselves.

They will lead from the front.

These leaders are not passing the work to a subordinate, saying they’ll support it from the sidelines. Nor are they waiting for a senior or board level executive to tell them what to do. They are stepping up, out, and beyond themselves.  Letting go, and looking to learn more with their team. Each is taking an active and hands on part in driving the initiative themselves. Getting their hands dirty as part of the first in explorer team.

We’ve watched this resonate around their team like a lightning storm. As each leader communicates with their team saying, “I want my team to learn and get smarter-faster. I will lead it.” the team member’s eyes light up.

Instant alignment.

The team engages and supports the leader.

These two actions instantly set them apart from their peer level leaders in their own companies. This also differentiates the final outcome on innovation from other companies in their industries.

Why do we share the above?

First, because we have learned that the leader must engage to enable their team.

The experiences further support the data. All the data says that this leadership decision results in being 85% more successful.

Second, we have also learned that this work is meaningful and matters.

This includes great feedback and experiences to share. We’ve witnessed Leaders who are stepping out beyond themselves to grow their teams. We hear it directly from our clients, in the post session feedback. The most recent comments that ring with us, and will for a long time, come from some of senior executives who, following the sessions, shared with us;

“I very much appreciate the intense and insightful overview on innovation.”
“A wake up call for me, I now understand that this is a discipline on its own, there is much for me to learn.”
“We’re glad your here…you give us hope for our future.”

Intense. Insightful. A wake up call. Much to Learn. Hope and a Future.

We’ll take on that kind of work any day. We will choose to Lead from the Front.

About The Innovation Garage

The Innovation Garage is a business Innovation Firm driving long-term growth of companies and non-profits, from start-up to the fortune 50. If you’d like to learn more about our approach to innovation education and building business innovation operating systems for our clients contact us here.

You can also learn more, request real world deployment case studies, schedule a demo of WHAT, WHY, & HOW. or find our upcoming education programs visit www.the-innovation-garage.com

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