In their latest book, Liderança e cultura organizacional para inovação, ESADE Visiting Professors Jaap Boonstra and João Brillo reveal how successful organizations implement innovation and what sets of skills and mindsets innovative leaders have in common. Who are the leading champions of cultural change for innovation? It's not just top and mid-level managers. Professionals and specialists also frequently assume leadership roles in these processes. In all cases, they are people who follow their ambition and genuinely feel that things can be done differently and better. They believe that making an effort to change is worthwhile and they are prepared to take risks. Successful leaders of organizational change for innovation work on change and innovation from a position of commitment and personal motivation. The authors highlight 7 fundamental mindsets of these champions of cultural change for innovation.1. Strategic mindset Strategic mindsetEnvironmental awarenessSense-makingSpace and direction Cultural change involves playing with meanings. When situations are uncertain, people look for information and meaning in order to be able to interpret the situation. The meaning gives color to the situation and direction to behavior. If the continued existence of a company is at stake, uncertainty is generated, which can sometimes have a paralyzing effect. People who take the initiative in such cases - interpreting the situation and showing the way forward - offer a new perspective on the existing situation and the future. That is how they inspire others to join them on that course and seize the new future. It's about people who make a difference in uncertain situations and are capable of imagining the future. 2. Political mindset Political mindsetBuilding vital coalitionsContrasting perspectivesFair process Many stakeholders are active in and around organizations. Shareholders are important for financial continuity and loyal customers are essential for the stability and sustainability of business organizations. Competitors, new entrants and substitutes may threaten existing business models and challenge innovations. Politicians and their political advisors influence business by expressing their opinion and developing new laws and rules... To prepare a business for the future, it is essential to consider the stakeholders that influence the existence of the organization. Internal player groups also contribute to the dynamics inside the organization. 3. Transformational mindset Transformational mindsetVisioning the futureArticulating core valuesOrganizing teamwork Leaders of cultural change foster innovations by formulating a challenging vision, which they then use to motivate others. To achieve cultural change, they form vital coalitions of people who want to play a leading role in that vision and create innovative teams that challenge existing business concepts. Transformational leaders visualize the future. This vision reflects the meaning of the organization and makes clear what the organization represents and aims for. The strength of the business is also discernible from the vision. A motivating vision appeals to people's need to be proud of their work and describes the organization's meaning for its customers and society. 4. Appreciative mindset Appreciative mindsetAppreciating the best there is and might beValuing differencesBuilding trust Leaders of cultural change for innovation are aware of the past and acknowledge the contributions of their predecessors. They know how to value others for what they contribute to the company. They involve others in the cultural change, they provide space for emotions and they are honest in telling what the change means for the people in the company. Initiators of cultural change for innovation build on trust and appreciate difference because differences can be a source of renewal and innovation. Innovative leaders appreciate difference, build on trust and use conflicts to open a dialogue about the company's cultural values. 5. Experiential mindset Experiential mindsetExperimenting and learningVisualizing resultsLearning from mistakesSharing experiences This mindset is about experimenting with renewal, making results visible, accepting and learning from mistakes and sharing rich experiences. In every organization, people learn from critical events and mistakes. These learning experiences shape the organization's culture because in these kinds of situations people learn how they have to deal with unexpected events. The idea behind this is that people in learning organizations are curious and willing to experiment. Experimenting and learning means that people of different backgrounds are prepared to share their knowledge and welcome each other's success. 6. Action mindset Action mindsetAction plan to support changeCollaborative actionExecuting change processes Innovation without active implementation is a daydream. Implementation without a strategic view of innovation is a nightmare. Leaders of cultural changes and innovations have an action orientation as well. They want to achieve results and are committed to realizing profound changes. People who take the initiative to change their organization will find that many interventions are available. Interventions are the tools on an exciting journey - the necessary activities to realize an ambition. The art lies in arriving at a consistent combination of interventions and developing an action plan that match the reason for the change and the overarching change strategy in order to realize renewal or innovation. 7. Reflective mindset Reflective mindsetSelf-awarenessSocial awarenessUnderstanding streams of events Leaders of cultural change for innovation are aware of developments in the surrounding environment and know what is happening in the organization. They know themselves and study others in depth. They use this awareness to direct the energy of the organization's people and to perform innovation. During cultural change for innovation, tensions are obvious and a part of the game. Curiosity helps to discover the unwritten rules of the game and the underlying dynamics that guide behavior. Profound change puts the existing values, habits and forms of conduct under pressure, and tensions and conflicts can arise from this. You may also like: 7 misconceptions about leadership

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7 mindsets of innovative leaders

01/2019

In their latest book, Liderança e cultura organizacional para inovação, ESADE Visiting Professors Jaap Boonstra and João Brillo reveal how successful organizations implement innovation and what sets of skills and mindsets innovative leaders have in common.


Who are the leading champions of cultural change for innovation? It's not just top and mid-level managers. Professionals and specialists also frequently assume leadership roles in these processes. In all cases, they are people who follow their ambition and genuinely feel that things can be done differently and better. They believe that making an effort to change is worthwhile and they are prepared to take risks.


Successful leaders of organizational change for innovation work on change and innovation from a position of commitment and personal motivation


The authors highlight 7 fundamental mindsets of these champions of cultural change for innovation.



1. Strategic mindset


Strategic mindset


Environmental awareness

Sense-making

Space and direction


Cultural change involves playing with meanings. When situations are uncertain, people look for information and meaning in order to be able to interpret the situation. The meaning gives color to the situation and direction to behavior. If the continued existence of a company is at stake, uncertainty is generated, which can sometimes have a paralyzing effect. 


People who take the initiative in such cases - interpreting the situation and showing the way forward - offer a new perspective on the existing situation and the future. That is how they inspire others to join them on that course and seize the new future. It's about people who make a difference in uncertain situations and are capable of imagining the future.


2. Political mindset


Political mindset


Building vital coalitions

Contrasting perspectives

Fair process


Many stakeholders are active in and around organizations. Shareholders are important for financial continuity and loyal customers are essential for the stability and sustainability of business organizations. 


Competitors, new entrants and substitutes may threaten existing business models and challenge innovations. Politicians and their political advisors influence business by expressing their opinion and developing new laws and rules... To prepare a business for the future, it is essential to consider the stakeholders that influence the existence of the organization. Internal player groups also contribute to the dynamics inside the organization.


3. Transformational mindset


Transformational mindset


Visioning the future

Articulating core values

Organizing teamwork


Leaders of cultural change foster innovations by formulating a challenging vision, which they then use to motivate others. To achieve cultural change, they form vital coalitions of people who want to play a leading role in that vision and create innovative teams that challenge existing business concepts.


Transformational leaders visualize the future. This vision reflects the meaning of the organization and makes clear what the organization represents and aims for. The strength of the business is also discernible from the vision. A motivating vision appeals to people's need to be proud of their work and describes the organization's meaning for its customers and society.


4. Appreciative mindset


Appreciative mindset


Appreciating the best there is and might be

Valuing differences

Building trust


Leaders of cultural change for innovation are aware of the past and acknowledge the contributions of their predecessors. They know how to value others for what they contribute to the company. They involve others in the cultural change, they provide space for emotions and they are honest in telling what the change means for the people in the company.


Initiators of cultural change for innovation build on trust and appreciate difference because differences can be a source of renewal and innovation. Innovative leaders appreciate difference, build on trust and use conflicts to open a dialogue about the company's cultural values.


5. Experiential mindset


Experiential mindset


Experimenting and learning

Visualizing results

Learning from mistakes

Sharing experiences


This mindset is about experimenting with renewal, making results visible, accepting and learning from mistakes and sharing rich experiences. In every organization, people learn from critical events and mistakes. These learning experiences shape the organization's culture because in these kinds of situations people learn how they have to deal with unexpected events.


The idea behind this is that people in learning organizations are curious and willing to experiment. Experimenting and learning means that people of different backgrounds are prepared to share their knowledge and welcome each other's success.


6. Action mindset


Action mindset


Action plan to support change

Collaborative action

Executing change processes


Innovation without active implementation is a daydream. Implementation without a strategic view of innovation is a nightmare. Leaders of cultural changes and innovations have an action orientation as well. They want to achieve results and are committed to realizing profound changes. 


People who take the initiative to change their organization will find that many interventions are available. Interventions are the tools on an exciting journey - the necessary activities to realize an ambition. The art lies in arriving at a consistent combination of interventions and developing an action plan that match the reason for the change and the overarching change strategy in order to realize renewal or innovation.


7. Reflective mindset


Reflective mindset


Self-awareness

Social awareness

Understanding streams of events


Leaders of cultural change for innovation are aware of developments in the surrounding environment and know what is happening in the organization. They know themselves and study others in depth. They use this awareness to direct the energy of the organization's people and to perform innovation. 


During cultural change for innovation, tensions are obvious and a part of the game. Curiosity helps to discover the unwritten rules of the game and the underlying dynamics that guide behavior. Profound change puts the existing values, habits and forms of conduct under pressure, and tensions and conflicts can arise from this.


You may also like: 7 misconceptions about leadership


More Knowledge
Leadership and organizational culture based on sustainable innovational values: Portraying the case of the Global Alliance for Banking Based on Values (GABV)
Brillo de Carvalho, João Batista ; Boonstra, Jaap
06/2018
ESADE working paper; ; nº 270
40 p.
Perspectivas sobre el liderazgo
Boonstra, Jaap
Harvard Deusto Business Review
Nº 282, 10/2018, p. 8 - 21
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