Leadership organisation Maximus produce an excellent magazine with numerous articles on lessons of leadership, this article really jumped out at me. With everyone working from home, organisations have made significant changes in how they work. Not just changing the technology (video) and the location (home) but also a change in trust relationships, as leaders now have to trust their team to progress work under intense pressure and widely distributed where they are not easily monitored for support and direction. Governance Accountability and the New Era of Democratic Leadership Its not about devolving all accountability, however as Maximus Founder Vanessa Gavan says “You want to open up the boundaries of control to offer more freedom, provide employees with more context than you have ever before, engender higher levels of trust and transparency and ask for their best contribution. This is how you will fulfil their needs and capitalise on their contribution in theContinue Reading

What are the qualities of an innovative leader? often when people think of innovators they are really thinking about creative thinkers, people who generate ideas but the innovative leader is more than that. Innovative leaders typified by Elon Musk, Steve Jobs and others are people with big ideas who can motivate people to turn the ideas into reality. Imagination and communication An innovative leader needs powerful imagination and excellent communication skills, the ability to craft a story that can visualise an idea, and sell a concept. Encouraging creativity means not being micro managers, it is about motivation and inspiration. Innovation Requires Optimism Innovative leaders need to consider the potential, look for opportunities and have a open perspective that says ‘why not’. Knowing when to Kill it No matter how much emotional investment might have gone into a project, the innovative leader knows when to stop investing time in specific initiativesContinue Reading

This article explains five ways that leaders can enable innovation in teams, innovation does not happen in silo’s, it is most effective when you understand the process flows between different business functional units, when you analyse and understand your competitors offerings, when you understand the changes in market dynamics and the role of emerging technology. “most companies continue to assume that innovation comes from that individual genius, or, at best, small, sequestered teams that vanish from sight and then return with big ideas.” By Rob Cross , Andrew Hargadon , Salvatore Pariseand Robert J. Thomas. “Together We Innovate” WSJ If you can score above 36% in the workplace serendipity quiz, you are proficient at leading innovative teams. “Innovation requires a certain type of person: they are passionate explorers in pursuit of endless possibilities.” The best leaders also know that innovation comes from multiple sources both internally and externally. When you bring people together from divergent points ofContinue Reading

This paper looks at Innovation Leadership a term that encompasses creating the climate for innovation within organisations as well as driving innovation to ensure an organisation is driving growth, is healthy and continues to be commercially viable. The authors state that Innovation Leadership has two components, Innovative Leadership and Leadership for Innovation Innovative LeadershipApplying Innovative Thinking to Leadership Tasks. Establishing new ways of thinking and different actions in how you lead, manage and go about work. How you face into complex challenges and the tools and processes utilised to deal with complex, entrenched or intractable problems. Innovative Leaders are quick and agile often in the absence of detail or predictability. Leadership for InnovationCreating the climate and framework where innovation can thrive in the organisation. Empowering and enabling the team to apply Innovative Thinking to solving problems and developing new products and services. Six Innovation Thinking Skills The authors propose sixContinue Reading

Ikigai is a Japanese phrase that essentially defines your reason for being, it is the connection between doing what you love, what you value and what you are good at. Your Ikigai is not just about your career it is a more pure reflection of your sense of purpose and wellbeing. Numerous books have been written on the topic with many looking more holistically at why some Japanese who explicitly practice ‘ikigai’ are happier and live longer. Culturally in Japan the separation between making money and reason for being is important, and this coming from a country where people live for their company, a career is often with one organisation for life and they have a word for death by overwork (Karoshi). Ikigai does not specify as many representations show that the intersection between what you love, what you are good at AND what you can be paid for. BUTContinue Reading

This article starts by explaining the importance of understanding and having clarity of purpose, psychologists describe purpose as a pathway to greater well-being and business experts state that purpose is the key to exceptional performance. An organisation’s Purpose links together with its Vision (where it is going) and Mission (how it will get there) into a concrete statement of why the organisation exists. While most leaders can clearly articulate an organisation’s purpose, they are often unable to clearly define their own reason for being which results in them not having a clear plan to translate purpose into action, limiting their aspirations and potentially failing professional and personal goals. “we believe that the process of articulating your purpose and finding the courage to live it—what we call purpose to impact—is the single most important developmental task you can undertake as a leader.” Nick Craig and Scott A. Snook The thinking shared in theContinue Reading

Having a strategic mindset is the basis of successful leadership, it supplements your hard work with careful attention to strategy. Reflecting on what is working and identifying flaws to optimise along the way – much like an agile process. “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety nine percent perspiration” Thomas Edison In his article Robson refers to Metacognition as our awareness and understanding of our own thought processes or ‘thinking about thinking’. He provides analysis of a recent paper published by the National Academy of Sciences and explains how having a strategic mindset might be the difference between success and failure. To assess your strategic mindset Chen and the authors of the paper put together a short questionnaire, simply rate the questions below on a scale of 1 for never and 5 for all the time. The higher your score the more likely you have a strategic mindset. When youContinue Reading

Feeling safe in an unsafe world is key to grounding our effective leadership, in this article the author explains that humans yearn for a sense of safety, which is deeply linked to our evolution. This provides us with a positive calm when we are confidently able to predict what is going on in our environment, when we can act with certainty and control. However when the world gets unpredictable, we no longer have certainty and we can no longer accurately predict the immediate future in broad terms, that is when our sense of safety flies right out the window. This article is also available as a YouTube video (where you can view Ed’s extremely impressive Santa beard) which is available at the end of the article. “Control is an illusion” Sheldon Kopp We pursue control as way to create a sense of safety in an unpredictable world and here theContinue Reading

This article looks at innovation methodologies used by the SAP Design and Co Innovation Centre which are utilised to get clients involved in brainstorming and the design process. There are five methods suggested: Brainstorming: The Walt Disney Method This method utilises role play based not three facets of Disney’s personality, ‘the dreamer’, ‘the realist’ and ‘the spoiler’ in the exercise each role is used to work through the concept, to consider what is possible (dreamer), then to consider how to do it (realist) and what could go wrong (spoiler). Empathy Mapping An empathy map is a way to cluster results based on thoughts feelings pain and gains. Starting with a white board or large piece of paper with a head and five sections what the character sees, hears, things, feels and is challenged by. Here’s a more detailed description and the online game. Belbin Characters Dr. Meredith Belbin found that whenContinue Reading

This article looks at Apple and the Innovator’s Dilemma in particular with the iPhone as the main success trap potentially holding Apple back. “When you get a product that is wildly successful you get comfortable”, this stops trying something new and new ideas have to compete for resources with the core product. Clayton Christensen wrote his first book about the Innovators Dilemma in 1997, demonstrating how very successful companies could do everything right and still lose market leadership or even fail as new unexpected competitors rise and take over the market. In this article by Molly Wood she makes the point that if you go back and read that book and replace every time that Christensen mentions “a company” with “Apple” it looks that Apple is a company on the verge of being disrupted and that it is unlikely that the next great idea in technology will come from Cupertino.Continue Reading