Leadership and Innovation: Guess Why Leaders Don’t Innovate?


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Guess why leaders don’t lead innovative approaches? Because they are compensated for thinking along traditional avenues. Code for “Getting along.”  What occurs are mythological sustainable advantages eroding revenues complicated by ever increasing rants about the economy and government regulations. All which could have been avoided by leadership hiring people who could lead.

This translates into product and services innovated for everyone but the customer. Satisfying self delusional appetites that “we are innovating. Forgetting to address what do customers really want.

When creating a product or service customers have to know what they’re paying for. Many managers I have spoken to haven’t a clue what they’re charging for. It’s almost impossible for companies to identify their competitive positions. Whenever I’ve asked senior executives to map the positions of their company’s brands and those of key rivals, we end up confused and dismayed. Different executives place their firm’s offerings in different spots on a price-benefit map; few know the primary benefit their product offers; and they all overestimate the benefits of their own offerings while underestimating those of rivals. The lack of understanding about competitive positions is palpable in industries such as consumer electronics, where the number of features makes comparisons complicated; in markets like computer hardware, where technologies and strategies change all the time; and when products, such as insurance policies, are intangible.

In short, leadership is innovation. Innovation, then, is the progressive realization of purposeful leadership accentuated by a profoundly passionate desire to create a climate of curiosity and perpetual discovery. And that my friends, begins with hiring top HR people.

Jim Woods helps companies improve their performance, productivity, and bottom-line results. He has enabled leaders for more than 25 years turn their organizations around with his cutting edge approaches.  To hire Jim visit his website here.

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Jim Woods is president of The Jim Woods Group. A management consulting firm. Go here to see his work www.jimwoodsgroup.com. He advises and speaks to organizations large and small on how to increase top line growth in times of uncertainty and complexity. Some of his speaking and consulting clients include: U.S. Army, MITRE Corporation, Pitney Bowes, Whirlpool, and 3M. See more at his website www.jimwoodsgroup.com.

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Posted in Innovation, Leadership

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