Innovation Leadership Qualities

The world is changing faster than ever before,with innovation becoming increasingly necessary. Yet oftentimes companies fail to properly innovate; why? Well without proper innovation leadership, there is little room for functioning creative growth. 

An innovative leader has a few intangible qualities:

  • Risk tolerance 

    • Innovation is not without risk, but that risk can come with great rewards. A leader that knows when and how to balance the risk/reward ratio is crucial.

  • Openness 

    • A lack of communication regarding ideas and processes can create a plethora of issues from design discrepancies to missed opportunities. In addition, the ability to accept changes and critique creates an open dialog around the project. Leading with an open mind allows both ideas and concerns to flow freely.

  • Confidence

    • Drafting ideas is half the battle, being able to not only pitch an idea but to also sell it, is a skill any leader trying to innovate needs to possess. 

  • Curiosity 

    • Asking questions such as “how can we improve this,” “what market does this affect,” or “is this sustainable” are all important aspects to consider when innovating, having a leader that knows what to ask and when is vital.

  • An eye for details.

    • The smallest thing can send a project off the rails. Making sure everything is in order, and accounted for, helps prevent mistakes on the team's part, leading to a smoother time preparing and innovating. 

Overall, leading in innovative fields is a task that requires a skill set not everyone possesses, but that does not mean it cannot be learned. Years of experience and challenging work are the most valuable teachers.