As a leader, your objective is to put your company in a position to be successful consistently. As part of this objective, you have to determine how to best achieve that and what set of capabilities to you need to develop or acquire in order to do so. No capability is more important than the ability to reinvent your company; the ability to innovate.
Companies aiming to develop a core innovation capability in their organization have to learn the skills, processes and behaviors that drive it. Also, innovation doesn’t happen withouth leadership support and resources.
Innovation is the opposite of predictable, which is why innovation is as much about attitude and perspective as it is about processes and skills. With that said, these are the 10 skills that can help establish innovation as a core competency in your organization:
- Leadership skills: Seek to develop leaders who empower employee decision-making and
creativity, limit bureaucracy, and encourage diverse opinions.
- Collaboration: Collaboration is crucial to executing on innovative ideas effectively. Learning
approaches that require teams to work collaboratively can help strengthen this skill.
- Embracing diversity: When teams aren’t diverse, they miss out on insights into different ways to
approach problems and lack wide-ranging perspectives on decisions.
- Problem-solving: An organization with a stronger capacity to solve problems will also have more
advanced abilities to resolve complex issues and find innovative solutions.
- Creativity: With enhanced creativity skills, your teams see problems differently to give you an
edge over your competitors and influence your organization’s long-term success.
- Analytical thinking: Bolstering analytical thinking skills gives your organization the ability to
analyze data, think outside the box, and dig beneath surface-level observations.
- An entrepreneurial approach: Teams that provide the latitude for creativity and take intelligent
risks to challenge the status quo, while using failure as a critical learning mechanism, see greater
- Lean methodology: It’s essential to build innovation with rapid prototyping — trying, failing,
learning fast, and trying again. Learning by doing is one of the best ways to enhance skills and
promote innovative approaches.
- Curiosity: Being curious about assumptions that uphold the status quo and acknowledging the
problems that appear too hard to solve are essential components of creativity.
- Continuous learning: Cultivating the time, curiosity, and access to learning — including learning
these innovation skills — drives growth and more innovative capabilities within organizations.
Bottom line: Innovation capability is a stack of skills, behaviors and processes. But ultimately, innovation is another code word for leadership.