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The last section of “Breaking Away: How Great Leaders Create Innovation That Drives Sustainable Growth - And Why Others Fail” talks about how to activate growth in your people, in the marketplace, and in yourself as a leader. The authors say that the culture of the organization needs to be open to innovation and the customers of the product/service need to be receptive to it in order for innovation to truly take hold.
In an organizational culture where innovation can thrive the authors say many of the following traits exist: people feel valued, there is a collaborative environment, there is a solution orientation as well as trust, honesty, open communication, a celebration of learning from success and failure, an embracing of diversity, a drive to provide value to customers, and a culture of empowerment. Overall the culture is accepting and open for people to thrive and grow and take risks to achieve their vision.
From an activating the market perspective the authors say that innovation really comes down to understanding what customers want or need and why they want it. A product or services needs to fill a desire that the customer either knows or may not even know they had. Once you find the right combination to really entice your customers to buy then the authors say it is about communicating with them and getting early adopters who will advocate for your product or service. Finally it ends with getting continuous feedback and making updates to the product/service as a result.
Finally as a leader it is getting yourself activated by creating a vision, setting metrics/benchmarks, doing a gap analysis and then taking the steps to fill the gap.
It takes courage to innovate as well as good conditions within your organization as well as with your customers in order for a product/service to be successful. Having the ability to take risks personally as well as an organization is going to be dependent how safe and secure you feel in yourself and your organization to take those risks.
How willing are you to activate your innovative skills? How in tune is your organization with customers? How willing are to create the right culture in your organization to allow for innovation to thrive?
Monica Thakrar has over 18 years experience in business focused mainly on strategy, change management, leadership development, training and coaching resulting in successful implementations of large scale transformation programs.