Develop leaders, culture and the right team

Leaders who are able to successfully transform businesses are ambitious, but ambitious for the business, not themselves. Research consistently shows that organisations with effective leadership and an environment in which innovation can thrive are increasing their market share, profitability, customer satisfaction and other key performance indicators considerably faster than those that don't.

Early in its life, while it is still small, a business is agile and flexible, seizing opportunities, taking calculated risks and building its culture as it develops. There's a sense of urgency in advancing ideas through prototypes, and taking them to the market as quickly as possible. The culture encourages creativity and calculated risk-taking. As a business grows and becomes more complex (more people, customers, products and orders), problems surface and more defined processes are introduced to manage the business. The problem is, often these systems crush the entrepreneurial spirit of the business.

Does your business culture support innovation?

  • Do you mention innovation in your vision, strategies or business plans?
  • Do you include the importance of innovation when inducting staff?
  • Do you have methods or processes to encourage and capture new ideas?
  • Do your people discuss new trends or models emerging in your field?
  • Do you apply any resources to new ideas?
  • Do you reward or recognise people who come up with new ideas?
  • Do you encourage experimentation?
  • Do you tolerate failure?
  • Do you communicate and measure outcomes from innovation efforts?

If you answered 'yes' to most of these questions, you are well on the way to developing a healthy innovation culture.

Build the right team

To transform your business you need to hire the right people in the right roles and utilise their talents, interests and abilities. You also need to remove the people who are not right. Having the right people enables your business to make the changes it needs. The right people don't need to be tightly managed or fired up; they are self-motivated.

Human resources: the basics provides more information on finding and keeping the right people, the importance of a successful team, and how your team can help grow the business.

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