Monday, May 16, 2011

How Do You Train Your Leaders to Innovate?


Disruptive innovation is integral to competitive advantage in a highly dynamic market environment. Equally, the role of leadership is a critical buttress for organizational structure and values that support culture and execution of innovation initiatives. Concurrently, while some organizations have already embraced the need and urgency for disruptive technologies, others linger on the verge of extinction, awaiting much more than incremental changes and strong leadership to drive them. Similarly, organizations in their very infancy require well-prepared leadership. Leadership education offers a solution for both.

A case in point is Europe’s newly-formed Innovation Union. One of its key efforts is policy-driven cooperation between the public and private sectors – not unlike cross-business unit alignment in an organization working to eliminate functional silos and leverage synergies. Another element of the plan is to provide a unified platform for innovation and encourage active involvement from all employees. This approach mirrors innovation strategies at successful organizations, where innovation is a common well-incorporated process.

Reduced barriers to private investment will support funding needs and contribute to the future goal of developing research infrastructures on a global scale. In the meantime, substantial focus seems to be on efforts to address social issues and on open R&D growth in conjunction with business-academia collaboration. A vital objective here is to provide the essential innovation skills to successfully manage and execute a competitively positioned initiative. Clearly, the Innovation Union recognizes that complexities of modern leadership require ongoing and innovative training to face the multi-faceted challenges of today.

What leadership training drives innovation at your organization?


Elena Cavallo is a member of the FEI Community and focuses on Strategic Innovation in Medical Research and Healthcare. She will be posting live from FEI 2011 in Boston May 16-18.

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