CE#589: How Do You Cultivate Innovation? (OPEN Forum AMEX)

Employing Transformational Leadership

Transformational leadership is a management style that seeks to positively impact the attitudes and behaviors of followers. Frequently described as high-energy and high on passion, transformational leaders are focused more on success of the people responsible for the outcome than the success of the outcome itself. Such managers promote intellectual curiosity, open communication, performance rewards and professional development. They are able to articulate a clear vision for progress and, by appealing to the moral high ground, serve as an inspirational role model for employees. Michael Dell of Dell, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Lou Gerstner of IBM and Martin Luther King Jr. are oft-cited examples of transformational leaders.

Giving People Permission to Fail

True innovators know that hitting upon a successful idea is a process of trial and error, and more often than not, you have to experiment with several approaches before finding one that works. Cultures infused with innovation are not risk-averse and don’t hold people back by always insisting on a revenue-winning outcome. By giving employees the freedom to fail, organizations also open themselves up to spectacular wins. Sounds a bit like transformational leadership, doesn’t it? And one need only to look at Microsoft to see it in action.

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