- Ransomware protection guarantee is offered by SentinelOne
- FBI probes DNC hack as suspicions of Russian involvement widen
- Cyber sec still holding up IoT
- The week in security: Australia gets cyber minister as nearly all of Denmark’s population is compromised
- Joint EU effort takes stand against ransomware
Why leaders aren't stimulating innovation
When I ask people how they define innovation, the most common definition I get – almost word for word – is “doing things differently”. And it really is that simple. So if you are a senior executive or leader that is disappointed with your ability to stimulate innovation ask yourself one question: “do I let people do things differently?”
I’m going to be brutally honest and say that you don’t. For the last 100 or so years business has evolved – using command and control – to eliminate variation. Nearly all businesses (not just manufacturers) are obsessed with the principle of ‘lean’ and Six Sigma which attempt to “improve the quality of process outputs by identifying and removing the causes of defects (errors) and minimizing variability in manufacturing and business processes.”
Unfortunately, if your business is focused on removing defects and variability, it can’t be focused on generating new ideas and creating value by commercialising them. These are two different skill sets: rational to remove variation and emotional to be creative. It’s like trying to pat your head and rub your stomach at the same time: yes it might be possible, but it requires incredible concentration, and no one in your organisation has time for that much concentration anyway.
Other reasons why leaders can’t stimulate is innovation is that they set their organisation’s up to work against each other. You might have given the new product development team freedom to be creative and do things differently, but you expect them to win support for their ideas from the finance, production and sales teams that you have set up to eliminate variation and risk: but how can you bring a new product to the market without variation and risk?
The answer is to bring something to market that is a tweak on the existing product or service. Yes, this will keep the sales ticking over for a while, but in the global economy, someone who can do it dramatically cheaper will eventually overrun you.
Another reason leaders fail to stimulate innovation is that they have no passion. Ask yourself, right now, “what am I passionate about?” Is the answer directly related to the company or group you are trying to lead? If the answer is no, what chance do you have to tap into the emotional side of your teams that is required to create innovation? Innovation requires creativity and that is an emotional skill. While business leadership in the 20th Century was about creating an automated machine, in the 21st Century it is about facilitating and embracing disruption; letting people do things differently. It’s also about passion: a leader that is passionate about the business in a meaningful way will inspire their people to go above and beyond, and that is where real value lies. Value for the customer, value for the shareholders, and equally importantly, value for the employees.
But one last thought on this: there is no one way to be a leader. Steve Jobs and Richard Branson are arguably two of the most significant business leaders of the modern era, yet their leadership styles are fundamentally different; what they had in common is that they understood themselves and surrounded themselves with people that were driven in the same way. To learn more about this, check out the blog “Branson, Jobs, Innovation & People”
- The Future is Encrypted. Manage It.
- Next-generation SIEM turns low-level security monitoring for high-level business goals
- Caution: That SSL Blind Spot is Growing
- Join ME Bank, Deutsche Bank and Proofpoint (USA) speakers for a discussion on banking trojans. Register now
- Hear from International Tom Corn on the future of security virtualisation | 28th July 2016 Victoria
- AISA 2016 | Hear from Bruce Schneier, David Lacey, Rik Ferguson and many more | 18-20th October Register Today
- New Destination Gigamon Security Resources IS HERE
- Start your cloud journey. Register now and learn a wide range of AWS cloud solutions covered in the monthly AWS Webinar Series.
- Ransomware explosion is the latest security wakeup call for CxOs
- As networks evolve, visibility remains key to managing IT-security risk in business terms
- Queensland-based IT specialist achieves Brocade Premier partner status
- HPE appoints new specialist Aussie distie
- BizTech Enterprise Solutions beats Deloitte to take home Adobe partner award
- Illawarra Communications to face a series of Fair Work audits
- Aussie regulator calls for greater broadband speed transparency
- 3 brand new virtual reality experiences in action
- Sydney Opera House CEO: Digital success comes from teams, not just tech
- 6 epic mistakes marketers make when rolling out a VOC program
- Why Melbourne Victory Football Club is rolling out marketing automation
- With Yahoo buy, Verizon hopes to stay competitive in digital ad market