When does innovative leadership start?

September 2015 newsletter

Innovative leadership for everyone?
When does innovative leadership start? Firstly let’s explore what it is. Having googled it a bit, asked a few leaders and experts and generally had a look around about what’s out there, what have I discovered so far?

Innovation leadership is a philosophy (thinking) and technique (acting) that combines different leadership styles to influence (leaders and followers) employees to produce creative ideas, products, and services. This leads to greater adaptability, agility and strategies for the future as well as for the now.

So where does it come from?
Having the right climate (culture, context)
Having the right drive, push / pull
Having the right people
Having some time to reflect and think.
Some of the major theories applied to innovative leadership
Innovation leadership has roots in path-goal theory and leader-member exchange theory. Wolfe (1994), Sarros, Cooper, & Santora, (2008) realized that organizational culture is crucial for success.

So, let’s focus on the practice and how to do it.
Encourage creativity
Protect the mavericks
Allow for dissent
Nurture it
Have patience and drive
Small chunks
Giant leaps

What holds it back?
Leaders being in charge; old command style
Leaders being autocratic
Leaders being obsessed with numbers
Leaders only wanting success for themselves; the self interest is the only interest syndrome

Okay, so what makes it work?
Leaders who have a long term perspective
Having the courage to fail and learn from it
Leaders who work with the team
Leaders who motivate through coaching and mentoring
Leaders who are emotionally intelligent
Leaders wanting everyone to succeed
Leaders who have a passion for innovation
Leaders who innovate with their head (thinking) heart (feelings) and hands (actions)

Innovative leaders are able to both supply the vision and create the plan that takes the organization forward. Sometimes it’s the organization itself that is the greatest barrier to innovative thinking and acting.

From the CBI publication Excellence in Service Innovation, Fujitsu moved from technological solutions to a business based outcomes orgnaisation. The company strategy and culture focused on looking at future trends to reduce costs, including its customers in its innovation quest.

Organisations have taken very different approaches to innovation. Microsoft and Google have taken an in-house approach led from within (8 Pillars of Innovation), while My Space and You Tube (prior to its takeover) had a community driven approach.

“The best organizations understand design and do not see innovation as something happening in a laboratory on its own” Joe Heapy, Co Founder and Director of Engine.

The thinking skills for innovation are much more about the abstract, multi-screen breakthrough, diversity and the ultimate goal thinking, as outlined by Valeri Souchkov in her book “Power thinking for innovative leadership.”

So, if this collection of thoughts and observations has sparked your interest get in touch or come along to the Innovative Leadership Mind-set session in Bristol on the 28th October to gain and share some insights and discover how to release innovation in you.I am attending with some of my colleagues from Smart Coaching and Training Ltd

The Innovative Mind-set
Smart Coaching and Training Ltd. – Ross Nichols

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015 from 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm

Smart Coaching & Training Ltd excel at providing bespoke business support, coaching, training, mentoring and consultancy services and resources to business leaders, entrepreneurs, organisations and individuals looking to grow and transform.  Business leaders we have supported have transformed their enterprises, grasped opportunities, identified success elements, developed an innovative mindset and achieved momentum in their business growth.

I hope this newsletter has provoked some thought. For those who want to be provoked further, I am very happy to help you along the way. Feel free to contact on 01793 882058 or via peter@petermayes.co.uk

Risk it and try some collaboration, what me?

As for the last six months I have been collaborating with a diverse and highly skilled group of coaches and I wanted to reflect upon the process of working within a forming and developing series of relationships.

Which at times requires tolerance and understanding so for me both personally and professionally these words have had some real special resonance so I thought id re-share them so to speak

What are the current trends on problems for companies and people?

Companies are looking for more tailored and integrated ways of driving action. When trying to marshal large scale, diverse and remote work forces ‘one size fits all’ doesn’t work. Localized, targeted and aligned programmes have a far higher chance of success.

They need to regenerate a sense of belonging and re-establish trust and integrity. Having open and clear conversations has an enormous pay off on the bottom line. Collaborative forms of leadership, create followers that engage and want to succeed.

Recent research shows that during the recession MDs/CEOs were staying with organisations for even shorter times, this often meant that senior managers moved on quickly too. The result is that some organisations became skeletal in nature; too thin to survive therefore there is no room to anticipate or deal with any fluctuation of the organizational plan and growth then becomes a problem rather than a delight.

Risks and experimentation are at a minimum. Innovation is marginalized and the same old ways of working get the same old results. Change is not getting any slower and shortages exist at all key levels, so perhaps getting the best from people is not such a costly idea and practice after all. The world is small and big at the same time. Speed and flexibility is the key.

For people
Resilience is the key.
Keep learning.
Taking care of yourself both physically and mentally.
Look for the good in what’s happening.
Have realistic expectations and enjoy the now.

Being self reliant, self motivated and self developmental because in some strange way this is what the company wants from people  and it’s what they you want for themselves.

However the years of recession have taught people to keep their heads down, don’t rack the boat and it’s best not to be noticed.

The need for great leaders as coaches and mentors is even greater than ever before, so collaborate, trust and talk the real key words for company and personal success

So to bring it back to my own experience lots of energy, willingness to share and be honest , developing trust and understanding has moved us all in Smart Training and Coaching to become a great team and gain lots of valuable learning and results

This article originally appeared on the http://www.smartcoachingtraining.co.uk/risk-it-and-try-some-collaboration

Another micro-article that inspired my thinking http://www.smartcoachingtraining.co.uk/the-importance-of-strength-of-mind

Is cooperation collaboration?

A belated August newsletter with some further September thoughts

FCI launch 1

What is the biggest barrier to cooperation?

Old style treating people as resources, keeping people in the dark, not admitting when things go wrong, pretending that you have all the answers are all factors in a non-cooperative organisation. But the biggest single barrier to cooperation is thinking that only one person has all the answers.

Cooperation is based upon the ability of people to give and take and to understand each others points of view. Sometimes I think this simple fact gets lost in all the management speak, leadership gurus or specialist coaching systems that people use to help them to adapt and communicate with one another

Does speed equal effectiveness?

What seems to get in the way is time, we don’t have enough of it, and we need to do other things? We start to take short cuts in what we say and how we say it, hoping that the other person will magically understand what’s inside our heads.

Unfortunately this doesn’t often work.

Sometimes we need time to check out what is being said, sometimes we need to ask questions, and sometimes we need to understand the intention behind what is being said, even if it isn’t stated explicitly. This takes time. This contradicts the old adage ‘speed equals effectiveness’. Speed does not always equal effectiveness; in fact speed can be very ineffective, especially where it hinders understanding.

The more we understand and seek to understand each other the more the barrier gets lowered and the ability to cooperate increases.

Another factor in cooperation is that both sides need to have something that is useful for them; this is bit of an extension of ‘what’s in it for me’, it now becomes ‘what’s in it for us’. Getting people to cooperate creates a shared mutual benefit.

What drives and motivates us is there all the time in our language, in our emotions and in our thoughts. I have often worked with teams and individuals to bridge a divide and scale a barrier and it always starts by carefully drawing out what they really mean.

So the biggest barrier to cooperation is simple really: it’s you and me.

This is often born out by being not only being unclear about our goals but also even more unclear about our intention which sits beneath the  goal and adjusts it in our thinking.

So collaboration s much more about having aligned intentions way of thinking beliefs and values