mindfulness-clock-hangIf you’re “only” VP or Director (in American, not British, management levels) – it’s tempting to look up the chain of command and ask, “Are our C-level leaders doing all they can to create an innovation culture?”  And the answer, most of the time, is “No.”

So – what can you do if you’re handed an assignment that asks you to look beyond “business as usual” and PowerUP new ways of delivering value to customers, new service or product configurations, new approaches to lean workflow and Process Excellence or game-changing breakthroughs?

If you Lead from the Middle with Courage, you start by asking, “What can I do to shape a culture of innovation within the team I mobilize — and the project plan I put together?”

This article from Business+Strategy describes 5 behaviours that can help:

  1. Build collaboration across your ecosystem – by looking across the matrix and mobilizing the delegates you need, to bring the right know-how and insights together.
  2. Measure and motivate your intrepreneurs – with a purpose and vision for success and a Balanced Scorecard that tracks contributions
  3. Emphasise speed and quality – with uplifting ennobling dialogues that accelerate and create a real sense of urgency
  4. Think like a Venture Capitalist – by putting yourself in your sponsor’s shoes and asking, “What ROI would make me want to invest, if this were my family’s money?”
  5. Balance operatonal excellence with innovation – with Rigour to use established disciplines, procedures and lean protocols AND apply them to deliver new superior value.

If these are behaviours you want to promote from the middle-out and bottom-up – not just the top-down – so each leader steps up and shapes an Innovation Culture, let’s talk.

Here’s your link to the Strategy+Business article: