Innovation requires strong leadership. If you do not want innovation to be haphazard, then you need to make the strategic decision to manage for innovation.
Managing for innovation requires strategic decisions about where to focus attention and time. While large businesses have the resources for formal strategic management, many small to medium business do not.
Even at Unique World, we have fallen into the trap of feeling we are too busy meeting the day-to-day challenges of operating the current core business to spend time developing and nourishing innovation. But we know that innovation is one of the corner stone’s of Unique World’s future and will have a profound impact on Unique World today and tomorrow.
In order for innovation to be effective it must be encouraged, innovation is often all about leading by example. Luckily Unique World’s CEO Eddie Geller has take an interest in day-to-day innovation activities since day one of starting Unique World, and the formalisation of an Innovation process is just another stage in the maturity of the business that he and Elon Aizenstros started over eight years ago.
In thinking about leadership in the innovation sphere I am often, draw to the writings of Peter Drucker ‘the expert’ in innovation processes and thinking in my view:
Drucker says in Innovation and Entrepreneurship (1993):
- An innovation, to be effective, has to be simple and it has to be focused. It should only do one thing, otherwise it can confuse your staff, customers and suppliers.
- Effective innovations start small. They are not grandiose. They try to do one specific thing.
- A successful innovation aims at market and business leadership. It does not aim necessarily at becoming eventually a ‘big business’; in fact, no one can foretell whether a given innovation will end up as a big business or modest achievement. But if an innovation does not aim at leadership from the beginning, it is unlikely to be innovative enough, and therefore unlikely to be capable of establishing itself.
The third and finial part of this entry along soon …