Rules for Innovative Business Leaders
Leaders should continuously update their business strategies in order to stay in advance of competition
Even iconic corporations can disappear from the landscape if they aren’t constantly staying ahead of the customer. This pretty much depends on leadership. Yesterday’s business leaders can become tomorrow’s laggards without innovation and reinvention. For example, not long ago an industry leader, Nokia, at present is cutting tens of thousands of jobs to slow the death spiral. The photography pioneer, Kodak, in January 2012 filed for bankruptcy, stopped selling its digital cameras and now is seeking permission to auction its digital imaging patents.
Some companies and leaders evidently struggle to reinvent themselves. The problem often summarizes to four issues: attachment, ego, control and contentment.
To be successful, leaders should control the innovation killers and adopt to the following rules.
Do get attached to a “Big Idea”
Often companies break into the market with only one successful product. They center their business strategies around this bestseller. However, every product has a life span. Do not stick to one “big thing” until it’s on life support. Don’t get attached to a product or way of doing business. Discuss with several trusted customers and idustry insider who will give you feedback on what your business is doing well and what needs to be improved. Nowadays, you can also tap into the social media and just read or listen to what your customers are saying about your product. Then, act on their suggestions. Visit and research about competitors and successful businesses in other sectors to see how they are growing and changing and get ideas that you can apply to your own products and services.
Keep your ego personal
Leaders may often be dependent on their ego. Keep the ego private. You are not always the smartest person in the room. Occasionally, you need to step back and listen to others’ advises. When an employee contradicts you or presents different ideas or solutions, listen and praise them for speaking their minds. Make it clear that no one is punished for ideas, whether they work out or not. Give credit, rewards, and recognition to employees who come up with new ideas. A financial incentive and public praise within the company can help them share in the glory of good solutions and inspire others to come forward. It is essential for owners to meet with each employee one time, tell them their ideas are valued and invite them to offer suggestions to the company’s management.
Don’t be a control freak. Leaders often have a tough time delegating important responsibilities. The consequence is simple: Delegate or die. Hire smart, creative people and give them specific areas of responsibility. Resist the urge to micro manage – if the task or project was done well, let it stand even if it wasn’t done “your way.” New approaches might teach you a thing or two.
Don’t Accept the Status Quo
Leaders should never follow the flow and tell their people to leave things alone until there is a problem instead of actively looking for improvement. They should train their managers to be open to new ideas at all times. If there is an environment of indifference in embracing ideas or rejecting them before they have even been heard, innovation opportunities will not arise.