Initially, having innovation as a characteristic may be seen as a bonus, an added advantage for new managers. However, as you progress in your role, it becomes a significant factor that not only contributes to your own growth but also positively impacts your entire team. What may have seemed like an extra embellishment at the beginning transforms into a skill of great importance. By prioritizing innovation, you have the potential to become a truly impactful manager, earn the respect of your former peers, and empower your team. Innovation is a hallmark of influential leaders who inspire and motivate others.
To effectively cultivate this skill, it is recommended to establish a comfortable self-organization process and have a clear understanding of your team's existing responsibilities. While having a strong drive for innovation is commendable, it is important to provide direction and avoid overwhelming a strained team. So, if you feel prepared and capable of structuring your own and your team's days effectively, what next steps can a new leader focus on to unlock the trait of innovation?
Permanent Beta, the Power of Experimentation – Upon discovering the concept of Permanent Beta, I have come to realize that it embodies a "X" factor for certain new managers. Permanent Beta signifies the adoption of a culture of continuous learning and improvement. Such individuals are driven by finding solutions, yet they understand that innovation and progress are iterative processes. An exciting advantage for innovative leaders is that this mindset fosters a feedback-rich environment from all directions. The Permanent Beta mindset encourages team-wide openness to agility and adaptability. These individuals who possess this factor, who step into their roles with both a manager above them and new direct reports under them, naturally draw people towards them.
By embracing the mentality of Permanent Beta and recognizing that innovation goes beyond mere theory, it becomes evident that the practical application of ideas is crucial. A new leader who can innovate through meaningful experiments, with clear objectives, measurable outcomes (even in the face of failure), and practicality, propels the entire team into unexplored territories. The power of experimentation serves as a gateway to knowledge and growth. A new manager who wholeheartedly embraces this mindset quickly becomes an influential figure within the organization.
Solution Oriented and the Art of Optimization –A solution oriented thought process is crucial for new managers to reach the level of innovation necessary to make a significant impact. True innovators go beyond simply identifying problems, they actively seek solutions. Those with a solution oriented mindset strive to independently solve problems before seeking assistance. As a developing leader, it is essential to cultivate a solution oriented mentality, which demonstrates independent thinking rather than merely following orders. Similar to the Permanent Beta methodology, this mindset sets an example for the team.
To foster solution oriented innovation, new managers should focus on the following steps: identifying the problem, shifting away from negative thoughts and focusing on positive possibilities, and thinking creatively to explore unconventional solutions. Once a solution is found, it should be optimized for maximum effectiveness. Embracing the concept of optimization with continuous improvement is crucial for new leaders to discover new tools, strategies, and methodologies that enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of both themselves and their team.
Embracing Trends, New Technologies and Curiosity – As a new leader, how are you incorporating AI into your daily activities? Are you making data-driven decisions, exploring technical tools to enhance efficiency, or actively engaging in learning about Digital Mindset? A manager with an innovative mindset would respond positively to these questions. Understanding and integrating emerging trends and technologies into your work enables you to leverage innovation, streamline processes, and generate fresh ideas for your team.
To incorporate a culture of continuous learning, it is essential to allocate time for learning within your daily routine, even if it means investing personal time outside of work. Ignoring the importance of staying up to date with trends and disruptive technologies is not an option, regardless of your managerial level in today's digital age.
Stay connected with popular organizations through online platforms, subscribe to technical articles, participate in manager communities, and keep track of bestselling business books. Nurture your curiosity and challenge yourself to learn and improve every day.
Innovation is one of my favorite traits in a new leader. The mindset pushes that individual to constantly improve themselves and motivates all teammates around them. Remember, innovation is not just a destination, it's a mindset and a continuous journey of exploration and discovery. Embrace the opportunities, stay curious, and always be open to new ideas. Let innovation become the driving force that catapults you and your team toward extraordinary achievements. Incorporating, developing and harnessing this skill is not easy to do, but it is certainly one that is worth the efforts for an ambitious rising leader.
Dive deeper in to our analysis of Unlocking Innovation by downloading the PDF article. If you'd like to have further discussions about how Unlocking Innovation affects your organization, reach out to Rich Bowers.