In my opinion, the secret recipe for innovation is not the team sitting inside the R and D cabins and cubes, but the leaders. Innovative people think different and act upon it in a different manner to generate creative ideas for new product lines, various services, creative processes and of course the businesses. The behavior of leaders matters – tremendously.
But surprisingly, these model leaders are very few. If you ever get a chance to talk to dozens of senior executives of large organizations, you’ve find that in most cases, they did not feel personally responsible for coming up with innovations. They only felt responsible to “facilitate the innovation process” and make sure someone in the company was doing it. I think, the stock market that pays the premium for the innovative thinking and creative ideas has the senior leaders as the face of the organization. So if they at all think, act and behave innovatively; the company is sure to grow.
So does that means, we as an individual contributors do not have anything to do with innovation? We definitely have. We are those power energy that the company is relying on, to implement the big visions and dreams and we still have to do our bit of contribution in the innovation race – more of “The Rat Race” these days.
Remember, there is an innovative thinking about innovation – Don’t be a someone who is constantly modifying the existing innovations by someone else and just shouting – we would make these work better for the user. Rather, think out of the box and create things which do not exists. Create the need, by introducing it!
Companies surely need to unleash the creative capacity of its employees through innovation processes, practices and more importantly behavior. Innovation is not a “Maggi which can be forced upon to be developed in 2 minutes”. It’s a culture that needs to be built from top to down.
That’s why I feel – Innovation is something that needs to be embarked upon by the behavior of senior leaders who would become the role model and at the same time lay the foundation of a creative culture within the organization.