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Leaders: 3 Ways to Leverage Innovation in Your Everyday Work

| | General Leadership
Leaders: 3 Ways to Leverage Innovation in Your Everyday Work

Innovation is a term you hear a lot in the leadership sphere. But, what does innovation really mean? I had the opportunity to chat with Dr. Nilda about making a difference as a leader. Following is a recap of key insights from our conversation.  You can please do also watch the video of our interview below.

What Is Innovation?

Let’s start by describing what we mean when we talk about innovation. Innovation is looking at your job or your industry, and taking a different perspective. Ask yourself, “What’s not working? What hasn’t changed in my industry in xxx years? What can I do to solve this problem or make things better for my employees, my industry, my clients?” When you’re looking for improvement and make things better, now that’s innovation.

Why Leaders Should Care About Being Innovative

In today’s world, we are constantly taking in information at a rapid pace. Customers and employees want their problems solved immediately. Talking openly about the problems that your employees or customers are facing provides an opportunity for innovation. Problem-solving allows everyone to brainstorm, turning the “me vs. you” mentality into a “we” mentality.

If you want to change your leadership and really spark innovation in your organization, listen to the people around you. Ask yourself, “What do they need to be able to do their best work every day?” At the end of the day, there are a group of people you serve – the people you lead.  Getting into their world and understanding their frustrations will help you understand where you should be innovating in the first place. Only by realizing where you are stuck, can you look at the problem with a different perspective.

How Leaders Can Leverage Innovation in Their Everyday Work

  1. Know the trends in your industry. Get connected with things in your industry. Go to an industry level conference or, if you have a creative enough idea, try presenting at a conference.
  2. Always ask that “why” question. Why are we doing things this way? How can we improve it? Asking these questions gets us to realize where we are stuck and puts us in a creative state of mind.
  3. Look for problems to solve. Your customers and staff are always telling you where the problems are, but leaders often don’t pay attention. Instead of looking at problems as negatives, look at them as opportunities to try something new or improve the lives of others. Problems are great opportunities to bring people together and brainstorm ways in which to make it better.

To truly be an effective and successful leader, you need to be open, creative, and innovative. Looking at things with foresight will put you ahead and give you the opportunity to change your leadership and your organization for the better.

In what ways have you engaged your employees to come up with an innovative solution to a problem? Answer in the comments.

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