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Innovation Leader Skill Sets

Leadership development: what skills should an innovation leader possess?

A leader is someone who holds a high degree of influence within an organisation.

These individuals become leaders after proving that they can create a vision and lead a team to it’s realisation. In large enterprises, this requires a strong executional mindset.

Companies don’t grow to become large enterprises without systems and processes working at scale, backed by the executional prowess provided by strong leadership.

But to be an amazing innovation leader requires a different mindset and set of skills.

Innovation leaders must understand the difference between mentoring and managing. They must be able to flawlessly make the style shift between searching and executing in order to lead innovation within their organisations.

Introduction to Leadership Development


The phrase “leadership development” can mean different things to different people.

Traditional leadership development is about creating competence in leaders to hire and manage employees, be decisive, take ownership of decisions, and drive company culture.

When spoken with regard to Lean Innovation, leadership development does not only focus on traditional execution objectives. Instead, it focuses on the development of a mentoring (not managing) mindset required to lead an innovation team to success.

One of the reasons that organisations have difficulty creating growth through their innovation efforts is that they are not developing leaders that can both manage and mentor.

However, innovative companies understand this fallacy. They recruit and develop leaders in both of these contexts because they understand the value in having leaders who can not only make great decisions based on years of experience and mounds of data, but who can also empower a team to make good decisions on behalf of the company in the face of uncertainty...

...continue reading on Moves the Needle

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