Every organizational challenge and opportunity is a leadership challenge or opportunity. Strategic planning is the dynamic and systematic process of meeting challenges and grasping opportunities and so strategic planning is at its base a leadership capability. It is important to embrace this notion whole-heartedly so that as you engage your organization in strategic planning you will see it as your responsibility to:
- Provide the organization with a planning framework
- Dedicate the time necessary to a robust planning process, and
- Lead the organization as it implements the strategies
If your planning process is successful, it will be because you led the process. If it fails to have the impact on the organization you desire it will be because you did not lead the process. By leading strategic planning, you will not be involved in every detail or be in every session but you must provide the motivation, perseverance and resources for the process to succeed and for strategy execution to be successful. If you pay close attention to some of the leaders in innovation, you will see they all carry these qualities.
Leaders Must Innovate
“Every organization needs its leader to be innovative” suggests Dan Smith of Keynote Speakers. “So identifying their potential will help them properly manage the talent they have and thus achieve an optimal innovation result.”
Innovation requires a series of particular characteristics in the people who carry it out and which, in the case of their leaders, do not coincide with the preconceived prototype of a leader. The innovative leader knows how to recognize the capacities and limitations of each of the members of his team; It is not who has the answers, but who asks the questions; maintains a critical attitude, always oriented to results and improvement, from ideas to execution; it leaves no room for complacency, and encourages the team at all times based on the specific achievement that occurs in each step, as well as being inspiring; makes people align their capabilities towards the desired goal; You must also know how to carry out a process that, as far as possible, adjusts to the times that mark both the organization and the market, especially during uncertain times.
Characteristics Of An Innovative Leader
According to MotivationalSpeakerz.com, the characteristics that are considered essential in an innovation leader are:
- Confidence in the capacity of the team, as well as in the results of the focused work. Once the innovation project and the group that will carry it out are integrated, achieving the expected results depends on the effort and dedication of the group.
- Handling ambiguity. The leader must feel comfortable working with a heterogeneous team that promotes the diversity of opinions. And, if the company is run by men, the must also embrace female leaders as their equals.
- Frustration tolerance. In innovation, to be successful, you must experience many failures; Recovering from failure or rejection is a condition for the success of an innovation.
- Orientation to results, not to the fulfillment of tasks. Focus freedom of thought in favor of the materialization of ideas for innovation.
- Self-motivation and ability to motivate. The search for specific achievements will always keep the meaning of work focused. “Keeping employees motivated is one of the essential attributes if a great leader” says Sean Adams of Motivation Ping. “A great leader must find new ways to bring out the best in their team.”
- Comprehensive knowledge of the core activity of the organization. The leader must understand the mission, vision, values and attributes of the organization; You must know the market, be at the forefront, attend conventions, be attentive to national and international information. This way you can identify opportunities and best practices to learn or implement.
Leaders Must Focus On Innovation
Likewise, an innovative leader must associate his personality with innovation. There are three attributes that are quickly recognizable:
- Innovative leaders accept uncertainty, risk, and failure; this translates into availability to experiment.
- They show a great passion for innovation, which generally leads them to get involved in these types of projects.
- They have an innate, almost magnetic ability to attract innovative people to their development teams.
In many industries, it was detected that competences such as leadership, creativity, decision-making, negotiation and managerial skills are attributes that are difficult to find are characteristics that are especially valued by employers who, regardless of their size and sector, they have an international reach.
Various experts have proposed some general lines to create conditions that allow a leader to be motivated and retained. This motivation is fed by three elements:
- Autonomy: the need to direct our own lives.
- Mastery: the desire to be the best every day at something that matters.
- Purpose: the quest to contribute something bigger than ourselves.
It is the task of decision makers to let the leader know that the results of the innovation process (autonomy) are in his hands; that the innovation carried out with his team implies an improvement with respect to the previous product, thereby imposing a new goal on the competition (mastery), and that with this, he is contributing to generate an organizational practice in favor of innovation, Which will transcend the structures of the company (purpose).