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August 24, 2016

Foster Innovation by Empowering Your Teams

Research published in the June 2014 issue of Harvard Business Review on the timely topic of fostering innovation within companies underscores the value of encouraging employees to be decision-makers. The researchers, led by Harvard business scholar Linda Hill and former Pixar technology guru Greg Brandeau, spent hundreds of hours studying industries as wide ranging as filmmaking, e-commerce, auto manufacturing, professional services, high tech and luxury goods. They found that the most successful innovation leaders focused heavily on collaborative team building.


Innovation Leaders Set the Stage

“They (the innovative leaders) didn’t see themselves as setting a direction and then leading the charge,” the researchers wrote in HBR. “… They knew they could not be ‘chief innovator’ or the driver of innovation who proactively ‘made it happen.’ They had learned that casting themselves as a ‘Follow me!’ leader was far less likely to produce the collective genius.

tweet-button-2015.png"Collaboration is not just a nice-to-have. It’s essential to any progressive company’s long-term success." via @ThoughtPartner

“Instead, they consistently saw their role as that of creating a context or setting—it could range from a team to an entire firm—where people are willing and able to do the hard work innovative problem-solving requires. As one of them told us, ‘My job is to set the stage, not to perform on it.’” This insight shows that collaboration is not just a nice-to-have. It’s essential to any progressive company’s long-term success.

Tough Decisions Made Easier with Employee Input

You want to know if your audience:

Ask them:

Heard your key messages or if they need more context or detail

“What are your key takeaways from the information I just shared?”

Understood the “why” and the “what” behind a change initiative

“What challenges and opportunities do you see with what I’ve just explained?”

Is comfortable with the messages you’re communicating or if they have feedback

“What’s your reaction to what I’ve just shared with you?”

Has any other questions

“What other questions do you have?”

In what ways do you foster innovation from your teams?

—David Grossman

By downloading and reading these 10 pain points, you will be able to identify what you need to work on as a leader in order make your employees feel valued and motivated:

top 10 pain points leaders face today

Tag(s): Leadership

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