Published 25. Jun. 2019
The Innovation-Driven Leader: A New-World Order to Leadership
Innovation is driven by the need to change the current status quo. To do something that’s never been done before. Read the full article below to understand how INFO – an organisation that helps businesses accelerate through innovation – executes and fosters change.
As organisations gravitate to the digital era of fast-paced information dissemination and work processes, the need for reform must take place in leadership roles. This change includes shifting from being employee-centred to making decisions and plans that are client-centred.
Demand is therefore placed on organisational leaders to be very agile and flexible; coming up with efficient strategies to address the challenges that may arise in the course of achieving the set targets of the organisation. Remmert Stipdonk, CEO of INFO, highly believes that this is today’s reality – “If you don’t innovate fast and put emphasis on being user-centred, you will fall behind” This article will give insights into organisational leadership in the digital age to achieve set goals while adding value for customers, partners and other stakeholders.
THE MASTER STRATEGY: LEADERSHIP BY INNOVATION
The kind of leader needed to make necessary changes that enhance organisational growth and development is one with a sense of innovation. Such a leader must be purpose-driven and intuitive enough to come up with strategies that foster growth and development.
Stipdonk explains that innovation is relative, it differs per organisation, “It can mean staying far ahead of the curve (like Tesla) because you aim to disrupt a market, but it can also mean that you’ll have to play catch up, making sure you stay relevant to your customers.”
To achieve innovative thinking, it is imperative to take advantage of the digital era of information technology by making findings that teaches the leader new trends in emerging fields and high-performing organisations. That, in itself, is a muse of innovation that can show alternatively better ways in which organisations can be managed.
Innovation, in Stipdonk’s philosophy, is about finding different changes that should occur within the organisation, which would have a positive effect on the realisation of the client’s goals and objectives. Stipdonk shares that INFO thrives in assisting businesses to embrace this change by coming up with clear and concrete game plans, “We define our clients’ innovation vision and roadmap, we design new innovative products and services, and we develop high-end tailored solutions.”
INNOVATION AND CHANGE
Stipdonk emphasises that a leader’s innovation is vital in organisational directedness. Its importance in attaining corporate goals by mapping out of a certain vision and mission statement to have something to drive towards achieving is necessary for every organisational leader to do. “You need to make these goals directional for the rest of the organisation, meaning that everybody else can relate to them“, he advised.
The sharing of responsibility or the delegation of authority among workers of the organisation is critical in achieving the common goal set by leaders. Such tasks assigned to them should then be given shorter time frames so that they can be evaluated at the end of the short-term period to make changes where necessary and optimise processes if need be. Hence, it is vital for innovation to be flexible enough to allow for changes in the assignment of duties for the realization of the bigger picture – the vision statement.
SUPPORT SYSTEMS IN INNOVATION
On the topic of innovation for leadership, Stipdonk makes it clear which kind of relationships a leader must not compromise for a business organisation to progress in the direction of the set aims and objectives. The three kinds of relationships can be categorised as the following:
- Other stakeholders
These categories of people are very pivotal to an organisation’s capacity and capabilities. For this reason, innovative ideas must be drawn to cover the customers, partners, and stakeholders to keep the dream of the organisation alive and within the realms of achievement.
Every innovative production or thought must be such that it appeals to all three categories to further explore and strengthen future collaborations with and not to strain the relationship developed with them. Stipdonk highlights that, “It is unrealistic to innovate without making sure that your customers want to use what you make. Of course, there are a lot of innovation projects that don’t directly affect your customer, but even then, it is important to understand and validate the value of your innovation“.
Equally important to Stipdonk is that businesses should not overlook the need for experimentation using new approaches to find value for its users, “We use design thinking methodologies that let us predict and validate value for users. As such, I believe design thinking can be applied to all businesses and I would advise them to start experimenting with it.”
SHARED LEADERSHIP – THE VEHICLE OF INNOVATION PRODUCTIVENESS
A creative idea cannot drive itself to achievement. Instead, it needs the vehicle of people in the organisation to keep the vision on course. To achieve this, Stipdonk highly recommends the implementation of ‘shared leadership’.
This strategy implies a kind of approach to organisational structuring that sees every member of the organisation as a part of a plan. He further explains that “You need a leadership team that understands the route and makes sure that that leadership culture bleeds through the entire company. This leadership team is not a management team, and probably doesn’t even have specific team meetings, but it is a group of people that have easy access to the board and are considered ambassadors of the company goals.”