Category: membership

Properties of Innovation Leaders

Somebody within the organization needs to initiate the innovation process. What are the characteristics of innovation leaders? They are often different, operate differently, and go about things differently than most others in the organization. Typically they are adaptive and serves as a catalysts to change others’ perspectives in the organization. Such innovation leaders tend to have people skills (“emotional IQ”), communication skills, and are masters at building consensus among stakeholders within the organization.

Facets of Innovation

Facets of Innovation

Leading to the Marketplace

Success looks like having an integrated, collaborative, accountable innovation process that leads to a diversified and full pipeline, as repeatable, sustainable, and with speed to concept.

There is a need to establish an approach and process to innovation. Success can also be attained with the presence of dedicated and focused resources including the need for a cross-functional core team. They provide oversight that culls all elements and identify areas and opportunities: marketing, R&D, packaging of consumer insights, claims landscapes, emerging science, previous conducted research/evidence/ideas, discovery/bioactives, health professional insights, global landscape, external marketplace/health trends.

Setting the Example as a Leader

What are the qualities of being a leader? Let’s get to the point: be tactically and technically proficient:
– Know yourself and seek self-improvement, making sound and timely decisions
– Know your colleagues and look out for their welfare, keeping them informed
– Ensure the task is understood, supervised and accomplished
– Train your colleagues as a team, in accordance with their capabilities
– Develop a sense of responsibility in your colleagues
– Seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions

People are diverse in their interests, talents and skills, and this diversity fuels the success of the team, and in turn, your success. It is key that a leader creates momentum in the organization and engage the people to understand simply what good looks like and create an environment where they feel empowered to really contribute you need to know and be able to deliver operational performance/results and have to have a certain knowledge to be able to credibly lead and drive improvements. In the words of the psychologist, Carl Jung: “we should not pretend to understand the world only by the intellect; we apprehend it just as much by feeling. Therefore, the judgment of the intellect is, at best, only the half of truth, and must, if it be honest, also come to an understanding of its inadequacy” (Psychological Types, or, The Psychology of Individuation, p. 628, 1921). Albert Einstein said something with similar meaning: “the search and striving for truth and knowledge is one of the highest of man’s qualities – though often, the pride is most loudly voiced by those who strive the least. And certainly we should take care not to make the intellect our god; it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality. It cannot lead, it can only serve; and it is not fastidious in its choice of a leader. This characteristic is reflected in the qualities of its priests, the intellectuals. The intellect has a sharp eye for methods and tools, but is blind to ends and values. So it is no wonder that this fatal blindness is handed on from old to young and today involves a whole generation” (excerpted from: The Goal of Human Existence, November 4, 1943).

The power of balancing one’s technical and people skills, allowing a diversity of thought, backgrounds, and productive behavior drives a sustainable innovation culture. Applying these qualities and behaviors to the innovation environment and using the technical and people skills leads to a sustainable innovation environment. These qualities help the innovation environment develop as one develops their internal and external innovation networks.