Recently, a series of 3 research studies sought to identify leadership actions that promote organizational innovation (Contreras, Carlos-Espinosa, & Dornberger, 2022). The researchers saw innovative leadership as a style of leadership that encourages innovative behaviors by team members. They studied how innovative leaders inspire intentional behaviors by others that generate, apply, and implement new ideas, products, or processes. 367 employees from large and small companies participated in these studies. They found that innovative leaders:
- Promote learning processes. These leaders encourage different teams to work together in coordinated efforts, delegate tasks/responsibilities, consider individuals’ capabilities, and guide team members in making their own decisions.
- Encourage safe change environments. They challenge work teams to make changes, promote critical thinking, and support those who propose changes.
- Monitor and adjust. Innovative leaders clearly communicate expectations, help resolve conflicts, and seek ways to overcome difficult situations during times of change.
- People-oriented. They act in ways that generate well-being among team members, acknowledge work-life balance, recognize and appreciate people for who they are, and encourage team members to overcome work-related challenges that do not go well.
Today, organizations are facing highly complex and uncertain environments. They must, therefore, continuously adapt and successfully transform. Innovative leadership is a key factor in helping organizations survive and thrive by guiding their people in playing crucial roles in innovation and transformation.
Contreras, F., Carlos-Espinosa, J., & Dornberger, U. (2022). Innovational Leadership: A new construct and validation of a scale to measure it. Estudios Gerenciales, 38(163), 151–160.