Innovation Strategy Models Need Innovative Leadership Guides

Innovation strategy models usually follow this uninspired recipe
– let’s encourage employee ideas, throw together a business case,

justify the costs and operating budget, dish-up a marketing
strategy and production project plan, hope for the best.

There are other organizations who believe in innovation
strategies which heavily depend on setting up and managing
arrangements, special relationships or partnerships with their
supplier community. I am not trying to find fault with those
methods, however, my argument is with those who are supposed to
act as the agents of innovative leadership.

What is the purpose of an innovation strategy? We innovate to
take advantage of the opportunities caused by change. For
example, prayer is a strategy we use to cope with our personal
challenges. And “prayer”, as philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard so
aptly observed, “does not change God, but it changes him who

Simply stated, it is not the strategy that changes, it is we who
change as we employ our strategy and use it to encourage,
energize, enlighten and engage ourselves to strive for achieving
its objectives. In a word, our innovation strategies can not be
expected to change the world, our strategy must compel us to
change the ways we think about, react to and perform in the

“Without change there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive
for improvement. Those who initiate change will have a better
opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable.”

– William Pollard

Innovative Leadership Guide-1: Thinking through your innovation
strategy model

“Innovation is not the product of logical thought, although the
result is tied to logical structure.”

– Albert Einstein

Your innovation strategy model must enable you to execute four
essential tasks:

  1. It has to help you recognize the components of a changing landscape [explore],
  2. It must expose you to the needs imposed upon your ecosystems by the change [create]
  3. It should usher you through the changes you hope to exploit [ implement],
  4. It must empower you to adapt to the changes in your marketplace and your offering [supervise].


Innovative leadership means finding clearly defined pathways
through the territories you operate within – this includes the
environments of your organization, partners, markets and
end-customers. Innovative leaders channel or direct the shared,
received and transmitted energies found in their ecosystems of
profound knowledge, work processes and social relationships.


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