7 Ways to Be an Innovation Leader

A 2023 study by McKinsey found that companies with a strong innovation culture outperform competitors by 30% in revenue growth. So, how can you, as a leader, cultivate a workplace that sparks creativity and fuels fresh ideas? Here are seven ways.

Innovate and Imagine

A leader acts as the architect of an innovative company culture. They set the vision, prioritize creativity, reward imagination, foster creativity, and enable calculated risk-taking. Here are some specific “to-do’s” to spark your own creativity and inspire innovation and imagination in others:

  • Practice Effective Time Management: Time management, surprisingly to many, is the most impactful starting point. If people are overwhelmed, burnt out, have misaligned priorities, or simply “don’t have time” for innovation, you’ll see minimal creativity and stagnant innovation in your people, culture, and organization. Time management is the foundational enabler of creativity and innovation.
  • Write It Down! Da Vinci’s famous drawings and ideas were captured in his “thoughts book.” Steve Shallenberger has documented how a majority of “thought leaders” have some type of “thoughts book” they use to capture their ideas, dreams, and thoughts. Simply put, what is not written, is likely forgotten. What is written, can be explored, developed, and shared. So, keep a “thoughts book” with you (see creative add-ins in the custom planner) and ideas will flow!
  • Incorporate “Innovative” Best Practices: Set aside regular time for brainstorming, ideation, storyboard development, mind mapping, “external environment” analysis, and other practices that engage the imagination and creative faculties. Encourage cross-departmental collaboration and provide resources for exploration, such as design thinking workshops.
  • Diversify Your Thinking: A team with a homogeneous background limits creativity. Seek out people with varied experiences, backgrounds, perspectives, and beliefs.
  • Celebrate Experimentation: Not every idea will be a goldmine, and failing is a crucial part of the innovation process. Recognize and reward the effort behind experimentation, even if the outcome isn’t a home run.
  • Embrace Psychological Safety: Employees need to feel comfortable taking risks and sharing unconventional ideas without fear of ridicule. Encourage open communication and celebrate “what if” scenarios.
  • Read Lots of Books: Books are to the mind what exercise is to the body. So, exercise your brain with both fiction and non-fiction books. Wouldn’t you like to learn from the likes of Steve Jobs, Sarah Blakely, Richard Branson, Leonardo da Vinci, Oprah, Elon Musk, Shakespeare, Marie Curie, Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein, and so many others! Books incomparably enlighten your mind.

Wrapping Up

Your brain is immensely powerful! And, every single person’s brain has unimaginable imaginative potential — including yours!

So, start by unleashing your personal power of imagination and inspire others around you to do the same. Keep a “thoughts journal,” read, manage your time, and ideate! Foster creativity, light the match, and watch those around you ignite!

“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” – Albert Einstein

Want to see other articles and posts by Becoming Your Best? Go here.

Want to learn more about our training solutions?

Leadership Development: The 12 Principles of Highly Successful Leaders

Do What Matters Most: The #1 Time-Management and Productivity Solution

The Six-Step Process: Six-Steps to Solve Your Biggest Challenges

Free Resources

    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop
      Apply Coupon