Leading innovation: Shared Purpose (week 1)

Fresh leadership for a new age: A series on the art and practice of leading innovation

The award-winning book Collective Genius by our founding partners Dr. Linda Hill and team reveals the strategies behind some of the world’s most innovative organizations. Their research makes it clear that a fresh approach to leadership is critical for organizations needing to sustain innovation or create transformative change. This 22-week series features tips on when and how you can bring this new leadership style to life in your organization.

Leading innovation: Shared Purpose (week 1)

If you want to retain your best employees and attract strong talent, co-creating and committing to a shared purpose will help.

Traditional leadership:

The conventional view has been that, as a leader, you shape and articulate the purpose for your organization. You see yourself as the keeper of purpose, which can lead to the notion of purpose being amorphous since it is not clearly tied to a shared sense of how others’ work relates to the organization’s purpose.

A fresh approach:

As our research has shown, to be effective you must co-create meaningful shared purpose with your employees, then embody it so that it can inform strategic decisions. You must ask them, “How does what you are doing fit with our purpose?”

Bring it to life:

  • Ask your employees questions: “Why do we exist?” “Who are we? “Why do we do what we do?” “Why are we together?”
  • Invite your employees—especially those closest to your customers—to share what is meaningful about their work.
  • Celebrate and recognize examples of their work that embody the shared purpose.
  • Consistently translate and reinforce how the work your employees do every day ties to the shared purpose.
  • Make sure that the shared purpose also resonates with and has a direct link to your current and future customers.

Next week: Bold Ambition

Challenge your team to look at problems that have never been solved.

Innovation solutions from Paradox Strategies

Our Collective Genius simulation and learning journey is designed to help leaders inspire action, nourish creativity, and build a culture of innovation. We also offer keynotes and our proprietary innovation diagnostic assessments re:Mind™ and re:Route™ as first steps in developing the mindset, culture, and capabilities of innovative organizations. Contact us via the form below if you would like to know how to bring these great tools to your organization.