Leaders Must Paint A Vision For Innovation Success
Many companies are pulling back on innovation and R&D investment and focusing on their primary business as margin erosion and lack of demand puts pressure on their business. We have seen this with a lot of clients yet we have also worked with companies that are thinking big and looking optimistically toward the future. The former are not ready for innovation success nor do they have any belief that they can achieve success with innovation. The later companies are energized and you wouldn’t even know that the economy is in the tank. What is the difference?
One big difference is that the leaders of the forward looking and optimistic companies have leaders that BELIEVE. They believe that they can come up with the “next big thing” for their category, they believe in their R&D people, their marketing people and others in the organization and they believe in a future that is better than the past. They clearly and overtly paint a vision for success and get their teams motivated and focused on the prize.
Having worked at P&G, Coca-Cola and American Express in marketing I have had the good fortune to work directly on some of the most prestigious brands in the world and worked with “wicked” smart people. I am convinced that it is very possible to turn around a culture of innovation failure very quickly when a leader steps-up and paints a vision of innovation success. It starts with a sincere belief and passion that “we” will be the group that can and will turn the past failures around. When you inspire others to be part of something bigger than themselves they almost always will join you and do incredible work. But you first have to believe in yourself, your people and the mission at hand. And most importantly, you must reinforce this vision and culture in almost every conversation, interaction and moment.
Have you painted a vision of success or are you perpetuating the culture of the “same old” results? Leaders owe this to their business, their people and to themselves to be optimistic, forward-looking and believe that as a team they can do something great.