Leading innovation: Finding the right locus (week 21)

Create space, a locus – both physically and conceptually – for robust discussion and decision-making to occur

Leading innovation: Finding the right locus (week 21)

Traditional leadership:

Conventionally, decisions get made at the leadership level, and top-down decisions are preferred. Structure is rigid and discourages cross-role thinking and communication.

A fresh approach:

Finding the right locus for “creative resolution” in the innovation framework refers to both a physical place and a conceptual place or level at which robust discussion and decision-making can occur.

New-era leaders should allow decisions to be made at the level best-equipped to make the decision. Top-down decisions are made only when necessary. Cross-role communication is critical for collaborative discovery and can be fostered and encouraged through flexible organizational structure.

Bring it to life:

      • Be Clear and Consistent. Ensure that decision-making rights in the organization are clear and consistent.
      • Be Inclusive. Gather Input from the appropriate people when making decisions, including opposing viewpoints.
      • Know Your Limits. Assess which decisions can be made at which level in the organization and under what circumstances decisions need to be escalated.
      • Stay Close to the Customer. Avoid making top-down decisions that can be made by employees who are closer to the customer.
      • Break Silos. Create cross-functional decision-making bodies in the organization.
      • Be Flexible. Approach structure as a flexible tool to foster the process of collaborative discovery and creative resolution.
      • Change the Structure. Recognize the benefits of informal or social structures that can trigger discussion and ideas.
      • Change Your Space. Pay attention to physical workspace, create spaces that are easily adaptable, and use work and common areas to encourage random interactions among people from all parts of the organization.

Next Week: Creative Resolution – Integrated decision-making.