Updated: Jan 18
Its leaders who define the innovation capacity of a business. Business leaders often try to make their companies innovative without becoming innovative leaders themselves.
In general, humans easily find reasons to keep the familiar status quo. Business leaders are not different in that regard. It's a lot at stake for them in terms of status, compensation, and career prospects. As long as the business runs well, there is no urgency to change anything. However, even when the first signs of Christensen's disruption become visible, many leaders still don't feel pressure to change or react. You can observe these phenomena, for example, in the financial sector, the traditional watch industry, or even in parts of the well regulated medical technology sector.
Regardless of position, responsibility, or background, people tend to underestimate the dramatic shifts currently taking place in our world. A significant force of change in the 20th and 21st century has been technology. As Kurzweil explained, in many cases, technology develops in an exponential style. The implications can be challenging to grasp, as humans are more familiar with linear developments.
We might soon live in a world with artificial intelligence, large numbers of robots, singularity, and a significantly different nature and climate. It's essential to recognize that we, on a global level, includes an increasing number of people from younger generations, particularly in emerging countries. They might have different ideas and preferences about what a future worth living should be.
As a truly innovative leader, you should also have a clear vision about what future you would like to see and create. You have to dive into the relevant subjects and actively find ways to turn your vision into reality.
I remember difficult discussions with software specialists about my innovative proposals. They turned their opinion from "impossible" into "possible", when they realized that I would do it all by myself if necessary.
You have to be willing to dive deep into topics so that you can explain your vision in detail with substantial information. You must convince your workforce and lead people through all obstacles to innovation success.
Why should you take action now? Well, some current developments in our world are happening so fast that the windows of opportunity are rather small. Remember the exponential developments in technology mentioned before. Think about platform or network economics of scale that can result in "the winner takes it all" scenarios we have seen, for example, with Amazon, Facebook, and Google.
Re-connect with the essentials of your business and your company. What does your company for its customers? Think about the value it creates. Why? Because many leaders, particularly in larger organizations, loose touch with these business essentials due to the size of the organization, functional specializations, and split responsibilities or the workload of the daily business.
Develop a mindset for innovation. Why? Despite all the methods, processes, and tools for innovation, humans have always been the critical factor for innovation and business success. Outstanding entrepreneurs, well-known for their innovations, show different ways of thinking and behavior in comparison to what is so well-established in many organizations. You might want to have a look at "7 Steps to Create a Mindset for Business Success with Technology Innovation". As you can't do everything yourself, you must also empower your workforce and "Create a Culture of Innovation Within Your Organisation".
Allow radical or disruptive innovation in your company. Why? Evolutionary innovation or continuous improvement is absolutely necessary but most probably to slow, to keep you in business in the long term. It's a question of time when the already stated fast technological developments will trigger disruptions in your industry. It might be your only chance to disrupt your business yourself. Disruption could be the recipe for a venture capital-backed startup that aims at your customers.
Leaders play a crucial role in business innovation. They have to become innovative leaders with a clear vision to enfold a significant impact on their company. It requires personal changes and the willingness to dive deep into new topics. Particularly the fast developments in technology, with sometimes exponential character, and their implications are often underestimated. They reduce the time to take action before a company is left behind. Leaders can counter these severe threats to their business by becoming innovative leaders and taking three significant steps with their company.
What do you think? Are you willing to take action?
Get in touch with me today to discuss your business needs and desires. Let's find out how I can help you and your organization to reach growth, profit, and success through technology innovation. Schedule Your FREE Discovery Call Now.
Sources and Recommendations
Christensen, Clayton M. (2016). The innovator's dilemma: When new technologies cause great firms to fail (The management of innovation and change series). Boston, Massachusetts: Harvard Business Review Press.
Kurzweil, Ray. (2005). The singularity is near: When humans transcend biology. Retrieved from https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-singularity-is-near/id361932532?mt=11
Thiebus, S. (2019). Create a Culture of Innovation Within Your Organisation. Retrieved from https://www.thiebus.com/create-a-culture-of-innovation
Thiebus, S. (June 11, 2019). The Most Important Factor in Innovation is Humans. Retrieved from https://www.thiebus.com/post/the-most-important-factor-in-innovation-is-humans
Thiebus, S. (September 25, 2019). 3 Reasons You Might Want to Change Your Watch to Foster Innovation in Your Company. Retrieved from https://www.thiebus.com/post/3-reasons-you-might-want-to-change-your-watch-to-foster-innovation-in-your-company