No, we are not talking about a boss who approves new ideas, but about a person (in any position) capable of re-imagining the things that already exist, of capturing trends and re-energizing our companies to grow. Below are the characteristics defining these leaders.
An innovative person is naturally curious and always seeks to learn more. He looks at what the rest overlooks and constantly looks for better solutions to those that already exist.
But not only this, but it also seeks to unlearn everything. He is passionate about discovering that something can be in a different way and rarely takes the facts as absolute, but looks for ways to revoke them.
Ability to ask questions
He has the habit of asking questions at the right time to open up new possibilities and see things from a different perspective.
Power of analysis
To innovate effectively it is important to be able to search, diagnose and identify the root of what we want to solve. Why is this important? Well, to avoid superficial ideas that can multiply future costs. This does not mean that we should investigate all the ideas until we prove that they do not work, but rather to inspire better options by delving into them.
These are applied to balance risk and reward, short and long term objectives, different thinking processes, etc. It is not a specific position, but the ability to organize a team and direct efforts to reach the proposed goal.
Focus on solutions
Being a facilitator is about helping each team member find the best solutions to the complex problems they face. This characteristic is extremely important, as it usually prevents good ideas from being discarded when an obstacle arises.
The innovation process is complicated and it is easy to get discouraged in the process. This is why it is vital to be empathic and understand how team members feel at all times. Only in this way can they be inspired, filled with patience to continue looking for solutions and opportunities, and finally. Communication and enthusiasm are essential to sustain a joint vision and work towards the same.
No, it's not about knowing how to draw or use tools like Photoshop or Illustrator. It is about being able to find elegant solutions to complex problems, by mastering conceptualization. It is a matter of thinking through the options and possibilities until you reach the best solution and make it real.
Opening to new ideas
Optimism and an open personality will contribute greatly to the success in innovation. These qualities make the rest want to share their ideas, ask for help to eliminate obstacles or simply guidance. Constant dialogue and willingness to listen are an essential part of collaborative work and, therefore, of innovation.
To become a successful innovation leader or inventor you must master these skills. Of course, you will naturally have some, but assessing your strengths and weaknesses will honestly help define your leadership style. It can be very useful to discuss these with your colleagues or other innovation leaders who face the same challenges or even hold workshops to learn how to enhance your talents for the benefit of your company.