The secret of becoming a good leader is to be a hardworking and diligent learner. Both of these qualities go hand-in-hand, especially when strategies are being redrawn and revised in various disruptive ways. Be it in any sector, innovation requires open-minded individuals who are comfortable in uncertain and ambiguous situations because these individuals are eager to learn and explore and are not afraid of failures. Any failure that comes their way, they view it as a learning opportunity.
Apart from this, innovation also requires an empowering work environment that will help the increased innovation which is an essential driving innovation by aligning culture, structure, leadership behaviors, measurements, and rewards. It also entails using the right process which will promote exploration, discovery, and fast cheap experimentation.
Although the whole process sounds easy on the surface, it is harder said than done. One of the biggest reasons is the operational efficiency. In today’s working environment, it is a necessary tool, but drives business in such a way that it makes innovation difficult. Operational efficiency’s goal is 99 percent defect-free performance. Innovation generally results from experimental learning and the variance can run till 90 percent and these variations produces surprises and ultimately lead to unexpected results. For anyone managing operations, variation is their prime enemy and anyone who is managing innovation, variation is their best friend.
The biggest part involves the execution management of the whole program. The leadership team is expected to meet every month for a few hours in order to discuss, track, manage, and implement the plan, and then every 90 days to re-calibrate the plan. A lot of things can happen which might make the plan or certain elements of the plan irrelevant to the project. Hence it is essential to meet and every three months it is critical to question the assumption on which the innovation plan was built, and make adjustments if necessary.