Lead for Strategic Innovation or Die as a Business

01st Feb , 2019

To evolve and survive, businesses need a long-term plan with investment led business growth strategies underpinned by innovation in all areas of their business.

Good business leadership must be looking to the future, as business generally is on the edge of many great changes. Leaders must innovate in how they want people to work. This is difficult to anticipate given the great technological and social changes impacting business, staff and customers. What will need to be done? Who will do what, and what will be the business environment that people want to work in?

Business leaders need to direct their organisations into the emerging and challenging business future, with confidence that changes and innovation in all areas will bring great business opportunities. Changes and innovation will not be uniform and will be structurally different by business sector and geographical location. Further, each individual organisation will make specific changes and innovations that will differ based on their own capabilities to innovate and deal with change. With help from a business coach, good leaders can identify potential opportunities and mould their organisations to take full advantage as appropriate.

What is Causing Rapid Business Changes?

Rapidly evolving customer demands and behaviours plus the all-pervasive impact of technology changes all combine with changes in social and community expectations to drive change. Add to this the business disruption of innovative competitors breaking into new and existing markets with product, service and delivery platforms at new cost bases, agile organisational structures, and supply chain truncation to reduce costs.

Innovation and changes will continue in how resources are used, with employment moving further into services. Decision making will increasingly be done with an emphasis on both technical skills and increasingly on soft skills to increase value to customers, increase innovation and to improve the business’s financial performance. There will be an increasing need for staff to crunch big data to understand customers’ changing demand patterns, which will be critical to adapt and anticipate future changes needed to product, service, delivery systems and staff, enabling leaders to implement new business growth strategies and manage future resources to succeed. We will all need to ensure security over all IP, data and analyses due to their critical strategic value in decision making.

What Changes Are Needed to Lead Your People to Create Innovation and Deal with Change?

Generally, given the innovation and changes anticipated, leaders need to align their staff and organisations with the strategic purpose of the organisation rather than just their particular tasks. All staff must be aligned with the specific business growth strategies that they must implement for future success of each organisation.

In order to understand what your staff should concentrate on in the future, you will need a GAP analysis between current tasks and objectives and those needed to support the future strategy and strategic purpose. This GAP analysis will need to be mapped onto the organisation structure and staff. A plan then needs to be created, filling these GAPS to achieve the target organisation and target capabilities. This should identify both hard and soft skills that will be needed in the future, some of which can be provided through business coaching.

A key aspect of all decisions in the future is that these are in strict alignment with the organisation’s strategic purpose. The leaders must implement frameworks to ensure that support is given to their people to train, innovate systematically and help them with change management.

The trend in business is that more work is becoming outsourced and project based, and this will impact culture. This will make it difficult for the business leadership, who must implement plans to maintain the target culture and support the future strategies in the face of more people working outside of their corporate umbrella. More people will have to work more cooperatively across jobs, functions and projects rather than at a closely defined job within a static corporate silo.

How to Align Rewards to Get Innovation and Change

Business leaders will need to create the policies, procedures and systems to support their agile future-oriented strategies and include support for the innovation and change management required as part of their strategies. The question business leaders must ask is whether their remuneration and incentives are designed to support the strategy, changes and innovation required. Incentives and targets need to be aligned with the strategic purpose and demonstrate good business innovation and implementation of necessary changes, with delivered benefits in line with those benefits used to justify the investments in innovation and changes to begin with.

The senior management team and leaders must demonstrate that they consider innovation and change on a regular basis in relation to their evolving strategic view of the business going forward, and deliver on the benefits of innovation in their thinking and plans to implement where opportunities are identified. After assessment, these innovations deemed good investments need to be properly implemented to derive the benefits. On a continual basis, the leaders need to re-envisage future business growth strategies so they can evolve with the innovations and changes that emerge.

Need a fresh perspective on innovation and change as part of your thinking and strategic development? Contact International Business Mentors and gain the strategic advantages that can come from an experienced business coach or mentor.

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