Organizations want their managers to produce highly innovative teams. So what makes a team innovative, and how can a manager successfully lead a group of people into creating and developing unique, marketable products to boost their company’s bottom line? The individual attributes of successful innovation managers are common, but when combined together they make one amazing leader.
1. Innovation Managers Believe
The most important attribute of successful innovation managers is their ability to believe in the ideas their team is generating as well as in their team’s ability to implement those ideas. Effective innovation managers have the gift of sharing their vivid strategic visions of the future while inspiring their teams to determine the best path to success. They don’t give step-by-step instructions. Rather, they rely on the team that’s around them to creatively solve the problem.
2. Innovation Managers Embrace Risk
Innovation requires risk, and successful innovation managers create a climate of trust for their teams to feel safe to toss around ideas. Even the crazy or unlikely ones. Employees need the encouragement to succeed and the freedom to fail without fear of reprimand. Not every idea is successful. Some will fail, but successful innovation managers support their teams and embrace the risk that comes with invention and progress.
3. Innovation Managers are Patient
While successful innovation managers value speed, they know that speed must be tempered with patience. New ideas can take time to percolate, and successful innovation managers create collaborative relationships that exude patience and a nurturing hand to guide their creative teams. Timelines are important, but they balance due dates with reasonable ideation and development time frames.
4. Innovation Managers Pitch Ideas
To inspire a team, successful innovation managers present their ideas with enthusiasm and conviction so the team will willingly follow. Successful innovation managers are highly effective at pitching ideas and persuading others in the validity and possibility of their ideas. They come prepared with a vision, resources needed and the estimated return on investment for the organization. Then they execute to the plan.
5. Innovation Managers are Passionate
For innovation to succeed, inspiration fueled by passion is key. Successful innovation managers are passionate about the ideas and results that stem from a well-executed plan. This passion comes from having a clear purpose with an end goal in mind. They make their strategies clear and pursue them tirelessly.
Successful innovation managers don’t outwardly display these attributes all of the time. Sometimes one outshines the other. However, these attributes belong to them and when they embrace them, their leadership thrives.
Innovation managers and their organizations can shorten the duration between idea and implementation when armed with the right tools to scale ideas. Read about how innovation managers in organizations like yours implemented IdeaScale to do just that.