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Innovation – What else?

Ironically, there is no hurdle in organizations to innovate, except the one created in leadership’s mind. Just as leadership sets the tone for the organizational environment, it must create the open mindset and an error-accepting environment required for innovation, it all starts here.

How often do you, your leadership and/or your extended team members ask this question: “Is there possibly another / better way of doing this?”. It is a simple, yet empirically proven powerful question to put at the basis of your quest for innovation and creativity in your organization.

In my consulting work, leadership innovation is often discussed. Recently during an assignment, an executive voiced his concern that it would be devastating if all people in an organization would be innovative. The executive was persuaded innovation would lead to unmanageable chaos.

Leadership often will say that their organization “hires the best”. However, I’ve often observed, once employees are “in”, they are treated as the most irresponsible, untrustworthy beings on this planet. In many organizations, through a reflection of the way the organization and its leadership has been structured, employees cannot think on their own, they cannot be trusted with ideas, time and flexibility. After all, they are ‘just’ employees. Hence, the notion that many leaders have that innovation needs to be executed by a ‘select few’ and “cornered” and “controlled” by leadership. This will often suffocate the initial good willing, well-intended, smart and eager to contribute employees. After some attempts at innovation, the employee gives up. He/she knows that innovation is fully controlled, is just talk and after all is not really wished for by leadership in any meaningful way.

Often there is an unspoken, or even a presented “we can’t innovate now” attitude communicated throughout the organization. Let me put it this way, the consequence of not innovating is so costly that leaders cannot afford “not doing it” at any time, irrespective of the economic conditions.

Instead leadership can show through behavior that it allows for people to take company time and resources to drive innovative behavior in the organization.

For example;

  • Measurement of the employee will be through continuous and transparent organizational feedback, not just through the annual performance review and goal setting process.
  • Leaders measure innovation by the amount of innovative behavior they see in the organization and through the innovative products they successfully launch serving their markets.  Intelligent employees, when given space and the desire from leadership to innovate, will do exactly that. Healthy human beings derive great satisfaction from being productive, being innovative, and through all of this have a measure of self-growth. Leaders are no different.

In a market where the consumer’s innovative appetite seems higher than ever, leaders correspond accordingly by taking appropriate risk and delivering innovative products and services. Leadership’s actions in turn will lead to positive and tangible return on investment and healthy profits for the organization. Success as an innovative leader will be determined by the companies’ success.

Johan F. Reinhoudt

This article was originally published in Leadership Matters on 04 September, 2009.

Johan Reinhoudt

NEDERLANDSE BIOGRAFIE
Johan is een voormalige life-sciences executive, oprichter en directeur van Top-Coach. Hij is de ontwikkelaar van het “True Result™ Executive Coaching 5-Stappenprogramma” en de “12-weken Coach™”. Deze methodieken helpen executives en professionals (bijvoorbeeld accountants, advocaten, apothekers, juristen, notarissen, medisch specialisten) die geconfronteerd worden met leiderschap-, prestatie-uitdagingen en/of burn-out (symptomen) om in recordtijd duurzame persoonlijke groei en in-context meetbare resultaten te behalen.

Dit is geavanceerde executive coaching door een ervaren senior executive en goed opgeleide professionele executive coach. De coaching is bijzonder geschikt voor executives en professionals die "nu" vooruit willen en die willen investeren in het duurzaam verbeteren van hun persoonlijke effectiviteit en het sneller bereiken of zelfs overtreffen van persoonlijke doelen. Het is echt mogelijk om van ‘overleven’ naar ‘moeiteloos leven’ over te gaan.

Als professioneel executive coach is Johan geaccrediteerd door de International Coaching Council (ICC) en is hij geassocieerd met de Nederlandse Orde van Beroepscoaches (NOBCO) en de Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology (ACEP).

Het is Johan ’s missie om met Top-Coach executives en professionals te ondersteunen bij het verhogen van hun persoonlijke prestatie, veerkracht en vitaliteit en daardoor op duurzame wijze bij te dragen aan een gezonde leef- en werkomgeving.

Hij is woonachtig in de regio Utrecht en werkt in een persoonlijk gesprek met executives en professionals in organisaties door geheel Nederland, maar ook internationaal.

Voor meer informatie kunt u hem vrijblijvend bellen via Tel. 030-200 6761 of e-mailen: Info@top-coach.nu

ENGLISH BIOGRAPHY
Johan is a former life sciences executive, founder and director of Top-Coach. He is the developer of the "True Result™ Executive Coaching 5-Step Program" and the "12-week Coach™". These methodologies help executives and professionals (e.g. accountants, attorneys, pharmacists, lawyers, notaries, medical specialists) faced with leadership, performance challenges and/or burn-out (symptoms) to achieve sustainable personal growth and in-context measurable results in record time.

This is advanced executive coaching by an experienced senior executive and well-trained professional executive coach. The coaching is particularly suitable for executives and professionals who want to move forward "now" and who want to invest in sustainably improving their personal effectiveness and achieving or exceeding personal goals faster. It is really possible to move from 'survival' to 'effortless living'.

As a professional executive coach, Johan is accredited by the International Coaching Council (ICC) and is associated with the Dutch Association of Professional Coaches (NOBCO) and the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology (ACEP).

It is Johan's mission with Top-Coach to support executives and professionals to increase their personal performance, resilience and vitality and thereby contribute to a healthy living and working environment in a sustainable way.

He lives in the Utrecht region in the Netherlands and works in a personal conversation with executives and professionals in organisations throughout the Netherlands, but also internationally.

For more information you can call him via Tel.+(31) (0)30-200 6761 or e-mail: Info@top-coach.nu

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