Put simply, if a culture of leadership exists, a culture of innovation also exists.
Why? Because the innovation challenge companies face is really a leadership problem. Being accountable for innovation means being accountable for value creation and customer satisfaction. Period.
As I’ve argued before, it is ultimately the CEO/Leader who owns value creation. And, it has to come from within. You have to really want it, because no matter how much you want to, you can’t copy another person’s leadership style. You have your own style.
Innovative companies are led by innovative leaders. And, you won’t pass the innovation litmus test by faking it till’ you make it. A simple way to test if there is a culture of innovation driven by leadership, is if the leader attracts other innovators, or develops them. It is in these type of environments where you will see progress being made, not just by leaders, by everyone. And it all starts with one person leading the charge.
Bottom line: To close the innovation gap, you need to walk the talk.
Hat tip to Mike Myatt for sharing his post on ubiquitous leadership which sparked this short post.