4 ways CEOs can step back and let innovation happen

Not only can organic, internal innovation drive greater growth than external value grabs such as acquisitions, but it will also establish for an organization and its leaders a reputation as forward-thinking and entrepreneurially minded.

The leaders best known for being both innovative and high-performing are those that foster a culture of innovation in their organizations, then step aside to allow teams to flourish, according to Kaihan Krippendorff, PhD, CEO and founder of growth strategy consulting firm Outthinker.

In an op-ed for CEOWorld, Dr. Krippendorff shared four ways CEOs can set up their organizations to thrive in internal innovation:

1. Leadership: Executives can demonstrate their commitment to innovation by allocating necessary resources to projects and discussing those projects as organizational priorities, rather than as afterthoughts.

2. Talent: The most successful internal innovators often do not fit the stereotype of an entrepreneur, so CEOs should keep an eye on the employees who are most impactful within their specific organizations and seek more workers like them.

3. Structure: The four organizational attributes that have been proven to enable innovation are adequate resources for innovation, incentives for innovative behavior, a safety net for risk-taking and freedom for interdepartmental collaboration.

4. Culture: Likewise, the four cultural attributes that have been shown to correlate with increased and improved innovation — and should therefore be promoted across an organization — are innovative thinking, risk taking, proactivity and consumer and market awareness.

More articles on innovation:
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AMA CEO: Innovation isn't about theory — it's 'a new idea'

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