Leadership by Innovation
Lucretia M. Taylor
Leading Innovation in a Global Organization
76 Highland Court
West Haven, CT. 06516
Instructor: Dr. Douglas Buck
Leadership by Innovation
Delivering and making short-term profits signaled success for leaders. Globalization, economic uncertainty, and rapid advancing technology in the 21st century have set the stage for a new type of leadership. Today, investors are less concerned with past performance, but with future innovation. Sustainable innovation starts with the leadership of the organization. Proctor and Gamble is an innovative leader. The following is an analysis of the leadership qualities that create a culture and on-going process improvement for innovation throughout the organization. This evaluation will begin with an assessment of modern leadership models that support innovation in organizations. Leadership Models
Impactful leadership requires delivery skills (analyzing, planning, detail-oriented implementing, and disciplined executing). However, effective innovative leadership requires the added proficiency of discovery skills (associating, questioning, observing, networking, and experimenting). Modern leadership models support a leader’s delivery skills. However, when an organization is innovative, the leader employs several models that support discovery skills. Classical leadership models have provided innovative leaders the basics for success. Identified leadership traits have an eagerness to accept responsibility, capacity to motivate people, trustworthiness, and adaptability (Doyle & Smith, 2001, pp. 5-6). The behavioral model has a concern for people and believes in participative leadership, where “leaders try to share decision-making with others” (Doyle & Smith, 2001, pp. 7-8). “A premium on people who were able to develop an ability to work in different ways, and could change their style to suit the situation” (Doyle & Smith, 2001, p. 9) is the classical model, contingency. Contingency leaders provide what is necessary depending on the situation. “New technologies and major shifts in economic activity, along with hypercompetitive markets and blurring of industry boundaries (Hitt, Haynes, & Serpa, 2010, p. 438) have changed the leadership model for success. The type of leadership essential is transformational leadership. Transformational Leadership: Disruptive Innovators
Transformational leaders “are visionary leaders who seem to appeal to their followers’ better nature and move them toward higher and more universal needs and purposes” (Doyle & Smith, 2001, p. 12). The 21st century requires innovative leadership where “valuable knowledge is widely distributed within and across organizational units and potentially across firms operating in complementary markets” (Miles, 2007, p. 198). Dyer, Gregerson & Christensen (2011), provide the discovery skills framework for innovative leaders. The following is a summary of the five discovery skills outlined by Dyer, Gregerson, & Christensen (2011) that encourages innovation and sustainability in the global context. Associational Thinking
Innovators use associational thinking, where they “cross-pollinate ideas in their own heads and in others. They connect wildly different ideas, objects, services, technologies, and disciplines to dish up new and unusual innovations” (Dyer, Gregerson, & Christensen, p. 45). Research has found that the best associational thinking comes as the result of the effort put into the other discovery skills (Dyer, Gregerson, & Christensen, p. 49). Questioning
“Innovators ask lots of questions to better understand what is and what might be” (Dyer, Gregerson, & Christensen, p. 65). Questioning is not a random exercise. Questioning does not lead to automatic innovation, without the other discovery skills. Instead “innovators puncture the status quo with why, why-not, and what-if...
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Lean Corporate Functions ensure ongoing functional innovation and capability improvement (P&G, 2013, Corporate Structure, Strength in Structure).
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