The employees must have the opportunity to try and fail. This is extremely important because if employees cannot fail, they won’t even try, and won’t innovate. Innovation is about everything – it can be about how you treat  your employees, about the environment they work in, about bringing a new angle to look at your customers. Holistic innovation is an attitude. It’s a mindset in the company that accepts every person as an important part of the whole. It not only accepts diversity but also welcomes and embraces it.

Diverse teams are more creative, more open to new ideas and adapt better in the ever-changing environment. That is essential during iterative processes, especially when using Agile working methods. Diversity can also promote open-minded thinking, which leads to more ideas. According to research from business platform Cloverpop, gender-diverse, teams that include a wide range of ages and different geographic locations make better business decisions 87% of the time, and decisions made and executed by diverse teams delivered 60% better results. A good innovative leader always keeps that in mind.

When innovating, you will always see two parts collide: the old processes and the old company (those that ensure the profit of today) and the new kind of people who are innovating for the profits of tomorrow. Leaders need to align those two parts as each is good in its own way and contributes to the result. Let’s try not to say that only the new innovative way is good, and the old business approach is totally wrong, because the old approach is always the history and the basis for the future of the company. To really embrace the future potential, we need to do innovation, which means we need to align the old parts with the goals for the future, and help all departments reach these goals.

Innovative leaders let 

people try and fail

Holistic innovation needs to be carried out through the whole company, but it is also essential that the leader leads by example. Establishing changes in a company may be challenging, and the leader may encounter reluctance and fear from their teams. That’s why it’s so important to address these concerns. If you don’t have a culture of leaders who encourage their employees to be creative and think outside of the box, you can expect resistance. From bottom-up to top-down, all the teams should always be engaged in the cultural change that is necessary for innovation transformation. People need to feel included and need to see that the innovation is not just one department doing some fancy stuff, but that they are all in their own ways contributing to the success of the company.

Leaders need to create an atmosphere of trust 

and openness

Qualities of innovative leaders

  • Ability to learn and improve 
  • Ability to embrace change 
  • Open minded 
  • Trusting employees and willing to play to their strengths 
  • Transparent and trustworthy 
  • Focused 
  • Good role model 
  • Aware of themselves and their flaws and transparent about it 
  • Desire to see the company grow, not just secure their own power 
  • Know their own strengths 
  • Know how to engage the whole team or whole company 
  • Have a vision aligned with the company’s strategy 
  • Ability to embrace the future in a different way 
  • Willing to experiment 
  • Communicate and listen to feedback 
  • Support diversity 
  • Know how to hire good people 

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