Free Leadership for Innovation Essay Sample
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Leadership is the process of putting up a technique for people to throw in their efforts to make something happen. In a nutshell, leadership is perceived to mean the capacity to put in order a group of people to accomplish a common objective. The kind of a leader that an organization has will determine the direction that the organization will take in terms of development. Visionary and exemplary leaders will steer an organization to prosperity and success, while inefficient leaders will drive the organization to disarray and disorder. The people under a leader will often derive their modes of behaviour from their leader. They always look upon the leader to give them directions and instructions that are aimed at steering the organization forward (McGraith, 1962).
Innovation is a new idea that can be put into practice. Therefore, innovation entails intelligence since intelligence plays a key role toward the development of new ideas. Whenever intelligence fails to be in line with innovation, its function towards innovation is realized. There are various hypotheses that are connected to the modern day business and innovation management (Van de Ven, 1986).
Leadership for Innovation
Every leader knows that an organization really needs innovation and more creativity in order to sustain itself. Innovation is thus, regarded as the backbone of any organization. Creativity brings about new ideas that are greatly beneficial to the survival and sustainability of the organization. It is, therefore, imperative for any leader to focus on ideas or programs that supersede the current ones that the organization is based upon. Leaders, therefore have various methods to employ so as to foster innovation into an organization. These methods vary from organization to organization due to the different nature of their needs. The best way is to create a favorable environment in the workplace so as stimulate creativity and innovation (McGraith, 1962).
It is important for leaders to foster creativity and innovation in an organization in order to improve on the level of production and also to maintain the identity and the existence of the organization. When an organization is short of new ideas then it will be forced to continue using the old ideas. These old ideas do not add any value to the organization, thus contributing to the obsolescence of the organization. Innovation entails merging known ideas and practices with new ideas that have never been considered before (Stacey, 2003). Change is a widespread feature in the life of a business and the capability to handle such changes is the core competence of success in the organization (Senge, Scharmer, Jaworski, & Flowers, 2004)
The main drivers of organizational changes over the last two decades have been globalization, advancement in technology, and fluctuation in global economy. This has led to distressed exploration of mechanisms for achieving competitive advantage through increased radical forms of change (Stacey, 2003; Burnes, 2004). Additionally, Cortese (2003) recommends that organizational strategies must take the form of a process of continuous learning, in which at the limit, preparation and execution becomes impossible to tell apart. He proposes that organizations should generate, develop, and maintain excellent business designs that are capable of taking advantage of their strategic landscape and business environment beyond the lifetime series of changes. This can only be achieved through self-organizing process of the individual employees. He acknowledges the role of strategic planning and the formation of networks since individual errors may have severe impact in the organization as a whole.
The ever changing global economy calls for new innovations and strategies in different organizations in order to maintain competitive advantage. These include training and development of the human resource to enhance productivity and overall business performance. Organizations are taking huge risks by investing heavily on human resource training and development (Tushman, 1977). Business leaders and executives view innovation as one of their top most agenda toward the realization of a perfect business model. Many studies have found out that training and development is the main instrument for breaking new ground and bringing changes in an organization. These changes include change in workers behavior and competency, upholding innovations, and adopting new technologies. The best design and strategy in professional training must be all inclusive, continuous in nature, and should integrate training with other elements of the organizations (Stacey, 2003).
Senge, Smith, Kruschwitz, Laur, & Schley (2008), explain how individuals and organizations work jointly to create a sustainable planet. He developed new ideologies related to leadership using an organized approach. The systematic approach views the entire organization as a complex system with interconnected parts. The constituents of an organization include the management, general employees, and the stakeholders. He describes sustainable thinkers as innovators who work relentlessly to create regenerative economy in the future and are capable of viewing and understanding the system in which they live and work. There vision is beyond the events and organizational boundaries thus, they make critical choices incorporate the natural and societal edge so as to create sustainable cycles of innovation.
High performing organizations nowadays are acknowledging the significance of utilizing effective training and development systems to improve their competitive advantage in the industry. Training and development of the human resource is a critical factor to any organization, if the value and potential of the human resources are to be harnessed and grown. It creates a big opportunity for the workers to come up with new ideas that can improve the face of the organization, and also the mode of operation. Leaders normally want the best from their employees or subjects, thus, they ensure that the training activities are innovative. Many studies have underscored the apparent correlation between a soundly designed and strategic training and the overall success of the organization (Cappelli, 2000). The general image of the industry and workers is also influenced by the level and quality of training and development. In our contemporary business climate, most companies are faced with stiff competition for their quality staffs (Gronn, 2002). Human resource experts assert that companies which invest heavily on training and development benefit from enriched working environment with a low level of staff exodus as well as enhanced creativity, innovation, productivity, and organizational performance (Kuchinke, 2001).
In order to maintain a competitive advantage and retention of high quality staff, companies must ensure that training and development of their human resources is not taken lightly. Investing in professional training guarantees stability and productivity in an organization (Wexley & Latham, 2002). One of the most significant aspects of human resource development is helping employees to become more effective in their work and to be able to adapt other jobs within the company. However, in order for training strategies and policies to be effective they must correspond to the company’s goals and objective. Major changes in an organization are brought about by change in workers behavior and competency. Willingness of the employees to embrace changes in an organization is influenced by numerous factors such as organizational structure, performance evaluation system, organization’s culture, among others. Training department is the one with the strongest position to integrate the above elements and direct top leaders through change initiatives (Miller, 2010).
Efficient leadership strategies are essential in an organization since they define where the organization is heading to. An efficient leader builds up strategies which aim to develop the staff and create new ideas to the organization. Democratic leadership style makes it necessary to define goals for the staff members and also allows the members of the staff to develop and get promotions. Achievements are distinguished and rewarded accordingly. Highly experienced staff members make it easy for this leadership style to hold since there is improved coordination and communication in the organization. Democratic style of leadership is most applicable when team building is required in the organization. When staff members are needed in the decision making process, this kind of leadership is relevant. This kind of leadership style makes it possible for easy problem solving and objective decision making in an organization (Gronn, 2002).
Business entities that seek to find out advanced and innovative solutions are often successful in today’s society. The correlation between advancement in business ideas and triumph of a business organization plays a major role towards building a successful business empire or business world. For instance, it is very true to say that the advancements in technologies such as the invention of gun powder or satellite radar, transformed totally what warfare meant to be; alternatively, the introduction of the printing press services extremely contributed towards the revolution of education system due to the availability of books that were used towards achieving an academic goal or objective. Training and development are the main instruments for breaking new grounds, thus, bringing changes to an organization. The expertise acquired through professional training not only helps in getting accustomed to the new technology but also contributes to the new innovations. Professional training must take place within a framework of partnership between the training department, the organization as a whole, and the human resources. This will ensure that the training offered is in line with all the stakeholders view/ interest. Therefore, training brings all the stakeholders together and the common interest is identified and worked upon (Stacey, 2003; Burnes, 2004).
One of the major obstacles to innovation in businesses is complacency. Most managers after budding through the ranks to the top most positions forget about training. They usually turn to training departments usually after making all the key decision within unreasonable time frame (Miller, 2010). In order for training department to accomplish its task successfully, it needs time to design programs, invite workers for training, carry out the training and allow a sample to experiment what they have learnt in order to produce results (Stacey, 2003; Burnes, 2004). This often leads to waste of time and company resources. It is only through professional training that an organization can avoid wastage of time and exasperation by assisting the top management to embrace training practices that leads to innovation and change in a business (Miller, 2010). Many managers always apply a top-down style of leadership which has proven to be ineffective in the businesses nowadays. In this case, the manager designs the business strategies, sets goals and objectives, sets deadlines, delegate duties among other functions without consultation. In such cases, training department only executes duties assigned by the top management. Generally, training and human resources development should be a continuous process rather than a spontaneous process (Scully, 2005). Some of the business managers always think they know everything about the business and understand the effect of a change on the workers and their roles in the company and how the change should be managed to produce optimal results. More so, some managers still believe that consultation is a major obstacle to quick adoption of innovations; thus, they always avoid performance barriers which are a threat to new innovations (Gronn, 2002).
Organizational strategies must take the form of a continuous learning, in which at the limit, preparation and execution becomes impossible to tell apart. They should generate, develop, and maintain excellent business designs capable of taking advantage of its strategic landscape and business environment beyond the lifetime series of changes in an organization. Strategic planning and the formation of networks are very significant since individual errors may have severe impact in the organization. Strategic planning of a business organization should take the form of value-chain and the competitive advantage analysis. Value chain analysis ensures exceptional business processes and enables the business organization to compete and improve on its portfolio. Competitive advantage analysis highlights various opportunities that an organization can take advantage of within its region. It also provides various strengths that the organization has in order to compete in the industry (Miller, 2010).
Leadership is a key component to the survival of any organization. Mediocre leadership pulls the business unit backward rather than pushing it forward. An organization with a stable and efficient leadership will be in a better position to stay ahead of its competitors with regard to all aspects of the business. The business environment is very competitive in nature and any slight shortcoming with regards to leadership or management could possibly contribute to the downfall or collapse of an organization. Due to this many modern organizations across the world have stipulated high standards in terms of qualifications of candidates to be considered for the top management posts. An efficient leader will highly invest on the research and development department in order to foster innovation with the intention to stay far much ahead of the competitors and drive the business towards maturity. Leadership and management, therefore play a vital role toward upholding the values and philosophies of a business entity. Innovation comes with a wide range of opportunities which are viewed to be of great importance and valuable to modern business. However, it is worth to note that lately, firms with inefficient leadership standards have been on the forefront to initiate innovative activities. The decision makers here feel that everything should be done so as to promote innovative activities (Miller, 2010).
Leadership has evolved continuously throughout the years, passing through various stages. The evolution of leadership can be traced from the pre-industrialization period to the modern internet era. Business innovation cuts across various sectors of the world’s economy and plays a major role toward development and fostering of growth opportunities. Many organizations have resorted to training their staff as a way of adapting to the changing modern business world. The best human resource training and development is the one that is all inclusive and continuous in nature. All inclusive in this case means participation without discrimination and consensus building. Professional training should be done on a regular basis and not on a spontaneous basis. The training should aim at establishing the solutions to the current looming challenges and developing new ideas/ innovation. Human beings are always skeptical in nature when it comes to innovations. Therefore, besides developing new strategies and ideas, professional training should act as a means of communication between the management and the employees. This will provide the employees with confidence, trust, and belief when implementing the new strategies/ideas. The employees in this case understand the benefits of the new ideas/strategy and its challenges. The best design and strategy in professional training must integrate training with other elements of the organizations such as organizational structure, performance evaluation system, organization’s culture, and among others. This is the only way to achieve sustainability and organizational success.