There are two fundamental types of innovation—evolutionary innovation, which refers to making incremental improvements, and revolutionary innovation, which refers to innovation that requires more change across the organization.- Ellen di Resta ‘Assessing Your Innovation Capability’
All business leaders today are experiencing an increased sense of anxiety as they warily eye the edges for their next challenger. Challengers who thrive on changes in computing architecture, easy to deploy ‘mashable’ technology, and new market entrants who are not encumbered with existing infrastructure, legacy clients, and business models, and start-ups with access to seemingly elastic capital resources.
Strong leaders and great companies are not closed to the opportunities that digital transformation may represent. They are eager but they struggle with how to disrupt themselves. In past discussions at TAUS, we have explored what this looks like and examined the offerings and theses of new market entrants, ‘outsiders’, offering disruptive and even ‘devastating’ innovation.
Disruption, through encouraging your team to blaze a new trail is often more important to commercial success than guiding the team along a familiar path. Recognising and supporting the disruptors in your organisation can lead to successful innovation for businesses, of all sizes.- Dr Trish Gorman, a leading business strategy consultant, in a presentation at University College Dublin
And what of the difficult task when leading disruption from the inside? Typically, in existing organizations, people enjoy career success because they effectively master risks, work to increase predictability and produce increased efficiency through repeatable processes and optimization.
To truly embrace disruption, leaders must create a climate of innovation which allows people to explore, to pilot, to design and map the unknown. The antitheses of a hierarchical leadership model, innovative leadership means influencing team members virtually, enlisting disparate skill sets, balancing styles, approaches, and methods. Most importantly it changes the collective focus from avoiding failure to embracing agile change, ‘pivots’ and iteration.
Can innovation teams be formed within existing firms? Need they be stand alone, incubated apart or distinct? What does it take to foster new business models that might be disruptive and provide revenue growth from within existing enterprises? This will the focus of our session and breakouts at the TAUS Industry Leaders Forum in Dublin on June 6 and 7.