By leadership and fostering an
environment of innovation and
Changing our Perception of
Michael Stanga, PhD
Move Fast Take Risk Learn AdaptMove Fast Take Risk Learn Adapt
Creating an Innovation DrivenCreating an Innovation Driven
• Team BuildingTeam Building
Move Fast, Take Risk, Learn and
Taking a large organization and
streamline its decision making process
The worst idea is the one that goes unsaid - author unknown
Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in
nature, nor do the children of men as a whole
experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long
run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring
adventure or nothing.
-- Helen Keller
To win without risk is to triumph without glory.
-- Pierre Corneille
Only those who risk going too far can possibly find
out how far they can go.
-- T.S. Eliot
If a company is not organized for innovative
thinking then getting agreement to move on a New
types of project will be impossible to very difficult
and time consuming. There will be many nay
• Does not fit out business strategy
• Is too different from we are doing today, we are not
setup to do this effectively
• This is too risky
• Not aligned
• Etc etc etc
Share the vision with enthusiasm
Be honest regarding the probability of success
Let them know what is in it for them
Give them time to absorb, depends on personality
Bring them into the planning and implementation so
that they can have some ownership
Make it clear on what their contribution will be and
how important it is to the success of the project
Let them know that constructive feedback is
welcomed and essential for success
Getting Support - Traditionally
Define how the opportunity fits within current corporate
• Fits within companies core competency
• Internal people expertise capability
• Manufacturing capability
Synergistic with strategy
• Fits with current long term business strategy
• Aligned with industry strategy
May not have all
SWOT will not look traditional
Example:Financials may focus on taking out non-essential costs
If it is truly different the
strategic fit– will
need to be redefined
Growth Mindset – keep reminding yourself and
The enemy of great is good. They stop growing, learning,
risking, and changing. They use their track record or prior
successes as evidence that they've arrived. This mentality shifts
their business from a growth to a maintenance mindset.
Neither you nor your business ever "arrives“, a
sustainable company model never get to the place where there's
nothing more to be done, change is the only constant.
A person with a "goal mindset" has very tangible, numerical
goals to achieve over a specific period of time. Nothing is wrong
with clearly defined goals, but there's a better way of thinking
called a "growth mindset." A growth mindset recognizes
goals on the journey, but only as part of a process--
not as the end results.
Focus and you can move fast
Differentiate ourselves from the competition to make
• Identify “what needs to be eliminated and reduced” based on how
we are competing today and transform this into “what needs to be
raised and created” based on what our customers really need and
• The focus area of this project is “Reconstructing Market Boundaries
• If board supports the concept, a leader will be assigned and the team
will be chartered with implementation via a Pilot project.
Essential to have
with the right
Layout the framework
for the team at
a high level – need
to keep from being
Make it clear that
support will be
given if project
Organizational Structure – it’s the
Organizational structure can help an organization
but it does not make an organization great; great
• Henry Ford knew this. He said “You can take my
buildings, burn my factories but give me my people and
I will bring my business right back”
• A great organization may have a poor organizational
structure with a great leader; but a great organizational
structure with poor leadership will at most be a good
A city decided that they needed to built
a light house. Once they finished
building it they decided that they
needed someone to run it so they hired
a lighthouse keeper. Since they were
Paying a salary they hired an accountant
with the accountant they hired an
treasurer and an administer. Later,
due to budget constraints they had to
They fired the lighthouse keeper.
Don’t lose site of what you need to accomplishDon’t lose site of what you need to accomplish
Creating the environment
Moving from traditional to non-
Innovative Companies Build Innovation Cultures, Says The
Boston Consulting Group Boston Consulting Group (BCG)
According to survey respondents, the top two obstacles are
slow development times and lack of internal coordination.
Innovative companies build innovation cultures. "You have to
be willing to get down into the organization and align the
nervous system of the company," says BCG senior vice
president James Andrew, who heads the innovation practice at
Fostering an environmentenvironment of innovation
Learning (Education, Training, Experience)
Corporate buy-in (internal support)
E.L.E.C.T.R.I.C.A.L. (starts with Excitement!!)
What a great place to be:
You are in a position to take
your current leadership ability
enhance these skills and support
the development of
a sustainable winning business
The beginning of creating an
environment of innovation
Leadership should be born out of the understanding of the needs of those who
would be affected by it. - Marian Anderson
If you want one year of prosperity, cultivate grains.
If you want ten years of prosperity, cultivate trees.
If you want one hundred years of prosperity,
- Chinese proverb
Years Dates Dynasties
500 2100 – 1600 BC Xia
500 1600 – 1100 BC Shang
330 1100 – 771 BC Western Zhou
550 770 – 221 BC Eastern Zhou
14 221 – 207 BC Qin (1st
426 206 BC – AD 220 Han – Western and Eastern
60 AD 220 – 280 Three Kingdoms
155 AD 265 – 420 Jin – Western and Eastern
161 AD 420 – 581 Northern and Southern
37 AD 581 – 618 Sui
289 AD 618 – 907 Tang
53 AD 907 – 960 Five Dynasties
319 AD 960 – 1279 Sung – Northern and Southern
209 AD 916 – 1125 Liao
119 AD 1115 – 1234 Jin
90 AD 1279 – 1368 Yuan(Mongolian)
276 AD 1368 – 1644 Ming
267 AD 1644 – 1911 Qing (Manchurian)
37 AD 1912 – 1949 Republic of China
Today AD 1949 – to date People’s Republic of China
Qin (Qin Shi Huang) – first EmperorQin (Qin Shi Huang) – first Emperor
•Redesigned the Political Organization and Structure
•Unification of Currency, Weights and Measures
•Standardization of the writing system
•Construction of the Great Wall
Downfall – ruthless and heinous deeds.
Moral values and education were strongly emphasized
after his rule which led to stability.
Learning from history
Each new dynasty would only survive for at most
a few hundred years (Sheu, 2003)
• Corrupted officials
• Inefficient public administration
• Increased tax burden on the multitude
These can be translated into leadership traits
Paternal style of leadership is particularly
dominant in Chinese enterprises*
• Leads to downplay of self and emphasis on
relationships (Sheh, 2003)
• Seniority and good conduct rather than performance
play and important role in promotion (Sheh, 1993)
• In larger Chinese enterprises the use of objective
performance criteria is more common
• For smaller companies nepotism (leadership of family
members) is highly practiced
* Chinese Leadership - Moving from Classic to Contemporary – Sheh, 2003
Universal Principle of Leadership
A true leader does not make decisions to
benefit oneself or a select group but of
the greater good – this style of
leadership is sustainable and
“Leadership is the art of
more than the science of management
says is possible.” Colin Powell
The only real training for leadership is leadership - Anthony Jay
American Leadership Development -
West Point's leader development program has four defining
1. Challenge: People don't learn while operating inside their
comfort zones. At every stage of their development, they must
face challenges that will stretch them.
2. Assessment: The individual's efforts in confronting those
challenges must be measured in some way.
3. Coaching: Every member of West Point's staff and faculty—
most of them experienced military leaders—is charged with
helping cadets become good Army officers.
4. Room to fail: An individual who is constantly confronted with
new and difficult challenges is going to fail at some point. The
leader's job is to ensure that such a failure isn't catastrophic, and
that the cadet learns from the experience.
Leadership and Management
Leading and Management are not the same
• Leading is influencing people to follow
• Management focuses on maintaining systems and processes
Managers can maintain a direction but they cannot
• To move people in a new direction you need influence
IQ does not equate to leadership
• Many brilliant scientists can think very high but their
leadership is so low it does not register
Leadership - Theories
Some personality traits may lead people naturally into
leadership roles. This is the Trait Theory.
A crisis or important event may cause a person to rise
to the occasion, which brings out extraordinary
leadership qualities in an ordinary person. This is the
Great Events Theory.
People can choose to become leaders. People can learn
leadership skills. This is the Transformational
Leadership Theory. It is the most widely accepted
theory today and the premise on which this guide is
Good leaders are made not born. If you have the desire and
willpower, you can become an effective leader. Good leaders
develop through a never ending process of self-study, education,
training, and experience.
• Chinese saying: ‘True leaders are molded by their unique situations’
A leader is a navigator who provides direction. Once the direction
has been fixed, all efforts should be channeled toward it.
A leader should be leading from the front , not pushing from the
back. Be a good example.
To lead is to guide, influence, direct and motivate people in
pursuit of a vision.
Leadership is more than an accumulation of
knowledge and technical skill. Leaders guide andLeaders guide and
motivate others to do more than they thoughtmotivate others to do more than they thought
possiblepossible.. It takes creativity, empathy and hard
Leader development is progressive. Individuals
become leaders by facing increasingly difficult
challenges that are attainable, given their training,
but that stretch them well beyond what they've
done in the past.
Those responsible for leader development must
understand each person’s stage of development
and steer him or her toward next big challenge.
Leadership is not Developed in a Day
• People follow/emulate what they see and what they like
• Cannot demand trust it must be earned
• Must have follower (mangers)
• Spend the majority of the time with the right people
• Shows proof of capability – need to have delivered
• Make the right decisions based on facts and intangibles
• Know the facts and set the vision
“A leader is the one
Who climbs the tallest
Tree, surveys the
Entire situation, and
Yells “Wrong Jungle”
e.g. Apple Computer
Striving towards leadership
It’s a well-known fact that many people have become successful
by compensating for personality or physical flawscompensating for personality or physical flaws. In each of the
following examples, it was the fiery trials that brought out the best
in the person.
• Winston Churchill, stuttered as a youth yet became a great
• Glenn Cunningham was so badly burned as a boy it was
thought he would never walk again. He became, however, one
of the world’s great milers.
• George Bernard Shaw was so painfully shy that he found it
difficult to talk with anyone. But Shaw forced himself to join
organizations where he would have to speak before audiences.
Although your position as a manager, supervisor,
lead, etc. gives you the authority to accomplish
certain tasks and objectives in the organization, this
powerpower does not make you a leaderdoes not make you a leader...it simply makes
you the Boss. Leadership differs in that it makes the
followers want to achieve high goals, rather than
simply bossing people around.
"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not
care who gets the credit." - Harry S Truman
Leadership - Attributes
Leadership is a process by which a person influences
others to accomplish a vision. The vision is translated
into clear objectives and directions in which to make
the organization function more cohesively. Leaders
carry out this process by applying their leadership
attributes, such as beliefs, values, ethics, character,
knowledge, confidence (presence) and skills.
Development - Leadership
Where does leadership come from? How is it nurtured
and developed? The secret lies in individuals gaining
exposure to on-the-job experiences that provide them
with new lessons and stretch their abilities.. Job-Job-
based experiences account for as much asbased experiences account for as much as
70% of leadership development70% of leadership development and far
outweigh the contributions of mentoring or training
programs. The organization can play a role in creating
experiences for employees that will provide them with
the maximum learning benefit and strengthen the
foundation of their leadership skills.
The self-deceived view others as problems to be
managed, resources to be used, or distractions to
be ignored. People who escape this mindset are
able to respond to others as human beings with
emotions, hopes, and dreams.
Leaders - summary
The most important component of leadership is
setting a vision
As said earlier, managers rely on systems and
controls, great leaders rely on people.
Leaders are innovators and creators that rely on
people. Creative ideas become a reality when
people who are in a position to act catch the vision
of their innovative leader.
Finding your way out of the Box
Without a map
Knowledge is powerful but creativity
• Companies can train you on technology, give you
access to information and technical experts but it is
ultimately up to YOU to take this and come up with
ideas. Successful companies foster an environment
of creativity. KEY: Once the environmentOnce the environment
(company culture) is set then it is(company culture) is set then it is
only a matter of direction settingonly a matter of direction setting
for the business.for the business.
What if every customer was always greeted at the
• Leave it to Sam Walton when it comes to CREATIVITY. Not
only was he the pioneer of employee nametags, but he changed
the entire customer service process by introducing a church-
style icon to retail stores. According to Walmart, greeters are
the front-line "soldiers" of the company, and prove that people
and customer service make the difference in building customer
Revolutionary ideas come from ridiculous questions
Michelangelo is often quoted as having said that
inside every block of stone or marble dwells a
beautiful statue; one only need to remove the
excess material to reveal the work of art within.
Michelangelo when asked what he was doing
staring at a block of marble everyday he said
“working”. Years later that piece of marble
because the statue of David.
Join all nine dots with four straight lines, without
taking pen from paper.
If you have not done this before
you will most likely struggle to
join them in the space of the box
If I added “use the whole
paper then it is likely
that the solution would
become apparent to you
If you want to originate breakthrough business
solutions, you will need to think differently than
you usually do. How does a person go beyond the
boundaries of their own mind?
Perhaps the simplest and most powerful way is to
awaken the image-making part of your brain. To
imagine (ever wonder why the word "image" is
the root of the word "imagination?").
Getting out-of-the-box - Think in
Friedrich Kekule, the noted German chemist, at a loss for
words, described his breakthrough understanding of the
benzene molecule as "a snake biting its own tail." And
Einstein’s Theory of Relativity was preceded by one of his
famous "thought experiments," in which he imagined
himself riding a light beam into outer space while holding
a mirror in front of his face. No wonder Einstein said, "I
rarely think in words at all." No wonder Aristotle,
centuries before, concluded, "It is impossible to even think
without a mental image."
You can increase your odds of getting those great
Better yet, it's fairly easy and painless. Here is a
to get started.*
Read, read and read some more.
Read lots and lots of different things, but keep it general --
don't read deeply. You can even skim if that's all you have
time for. Whatever you do, DON'T read publications
related to your industry. That's for another time. This is
brain-feeding time, not keeping up in your profession
*Michele Pariza Wacek is the author of "Got Ideas? Unleash Your Creativity and Make More Money."
A rare breed of individual never gets out of practice-
innovation is a habit. It's easy to find them: In all
walks of life, they're the most satisfied, ingenious
(regardless of natural intelligence), and high
achieving. Four distinguishing traits work in
tandem to set personal innovators apart:
awareness, curiosity, focus, and initiative. By
developing these traits, you will cultivate a habit of
Curiosity flows seamlessly from awareness. Once
you open yourself to the nuances of life, it's hard
not to find things that fascinate you and to begin
To be curious, you must give yourself the freedom
to risk and make mistakes. Interestingly, curiosity
requires trust-trust that everyone and every
situation have something to teach you. Even when
there's no immediate practical application of the
things you learn, you're training creative muscles
that innovators keep "buff."well toned.
The innovative spirit without action is like the proverbial tree
falling in the forest with no one to hear it. Initiative to act gives
purpose and momentum to the habit of innovation.
But someone incapable of action would never “Start a race”,
you might say. Exactly! But capability without initiative also
does not translate into results.
You no doubt know gifted people who lack initiative. They
languish in jobs they hate, have ideas they never pursue, or are
perpetual students, never venturing into the world. It's easy to
see that they need initiative, but what about you? You have
once-in-a-lifetime opportunities every day of your life to shape
Why do we avoid taking initiative? In a word, fear. We're afraid of
putting ourselves out there, of failing, of risking, of looking stupid.
Eventually, we must decide that our goals matter more than our
fears. To develop initiative:
• Define your goals. Then do what it takes to propel yourself toward those
• Make your environment motivating. Get rid of non-productive things
that take away your energy. Surround yourself with natural light,
energizing people, reminders of those you admire, and inspiring quotes
• Become optimistic, looking for the positive lessons, the good in others
and yourself, the win-win solutions. Visualize yourself succeeding.
• Take risks, which bring increased confidence.
• Use awareness to assess the impact of all you do. Measure actions by
impact; small actions can have great results.
• Live so that you will have no regrets about paths not taken and actions
Know your company
• Read company reports and updates. UNDERSTAND your
companies technology. Don’t repeat what's already been done
• Network with others that have been at the company much
longer. Ask questions, use the word “WHY” frequently.
• Understand all the functions within your organization i.e.
marketing, sales, process engineering, manufacturing, supply
• Know your current customers and think beyond them such as
how to use your company’s capabilities that will led to new
types of customers.
• What makes you like to come into work everyday
• Look for ways to improve yourself identify areas for
Culturally and interpersonally
• What do you want to do long term? – be patient in getting
there it takes time and experiences
Environment for Successful
Innovation Access to Experts – make it an expectation for good role models to be
accessible to employees
Freedom to fail – need a defined amount of risk. Learn and Adapt
Open communication – generate idea flow. No idea is too stupid to discuss.
Senior management should be seen and show interest in people and encourage
people to be open and honest.
Reward Reward Reward – Publicly Recognize results. DO NOT FORGET
WHERE THE IDEAS WERE GENERATED – do not let managers /
coworkers take credit
Think beyond core competencies
Keep in touch with competitors – patents and market – this is a lagging
measure but it is better late than never
Always consider purchasing innovation if possible. Time to market is critical
and a protectable position is has enormous value
• Search and reapply – utilizing existing or new products in several
• Provide EXACTLY what the customer wants/needs. Do not over engineer.
Must have Voice of the Customer.
• New market opportunities must be sought after they will not come to you.
Create you own environment for creative
• Do not be afraid to take a risk, try new ideas
• Constantly be thinking
• Take some time to talk with senior leaders
• Your thinking should be “there is a better way”
• Broaden your understanding – look for ideas that may be
synergist with your company’s core competencies but do not
let this limit you!
• Embrace change - change creates opportunities
• Ideas propagate ideas
• “Can’t be done” means a solution has not been found yet
Leave you with this quote by
W.C. Fields (comedian)
"If at first you don't succeed, try, try
again. Then quit. No use being a
damn fool about it."
Don't take life so seriously; it's not permanent. -- Unknown
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