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Leading Innovation

nan-mehta's picture

Leading Innovation

By Nan Mehta on September 27, 2012

First of all, America needs to move in a direction that enables us to be more globally competitive. This requires a full force generation of creativity and innovation in new products, services and processes; similar to what the IT industry has been providing for the last 20 years. Therefore, we need to develop and drive the behavior in a workforce to deliver these results.

Traditional models have focused on busy-work which neither delivers value-added results to the organization nor develops the employee to realize his/her full potential. My model suggests we inspire the creativity in employees and measure the result derived from it, which is innovation. My model of innovation management would require the manager to transform him/herself into a leader because in order to get innovation, you must inspire creativity. The model would also require the employee to transform him/her self into an innovator. This will require him/her to be developed to realize their full potential requiring him/her to maximize the use of resources and talents in order to do so.

First Steps (extra credit) 

Here is a concept of the measurement examples that I would use for the Leader and the Innovator:


1)      # of value-added innovations delivered by the team.

2)      How many innovators were developed towards their full potential?

3)      Solicit feedback from the innovators on the leader’s inspirational style that motivated them to be more creative. (More points for unique, positive tactics; detract points for negative tactics.)


1)     The # of processes improved to become efficient and resulted in saving the organization (team, dept., division, etc.) cost, time, efforts, energy.

2)     The # of products/services improved in quality where it was recognized by the customer (internal/external) and resulted in improved customer satisfaction ratings.

3)      Delivered innovative ideas/concepts that added value for the organization via generating revenues, reducing costs, driving positive change, improving team morale/dynamics, collaboration, etc.).


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nan-mehta's picture

Hello Bjarte, Thank you for your comment. Having the attitude of "there is always a better way" or I like to say, "room for improvement", doesn't require impatience. It only encourages continual improvement to reach higher standards. It also does not require more resources because many times, improvement comes from just simplifying processes and reducing resources rather than adding them. I completely understand the fatigue with measurements. The reason I provided this format is because the instructions indicated that the concept had to be such that any level of management could implement it (not necessarily Senior level down). Having worked with both managers and executives; I found that managers tend to desire and need the metrics to help them implement the concept/strategy. Executives on the other hand, are comfortable with vague measurements such as successes and failures. If you advise, I could edit this portion to be in more of a concept format. I welcome any additional suggestions or comments you may have. Best Regards, Nan

bjarte-bogsnes's picture


You are very right. An impatient attitude of "there is always a better way" is a an important part of a strong performance culture. But has building such a culture more to do with making time and resources available and accepting failures and celebrating successes, than about measurement and metrics? This might indicate that we are succeeding, but are maybe not the reason why we succeed?

My apologies for being so sensitive to more measurement, but I experience a kind of "measurement fatigue" in many of the organizations I meet. Am I too sensitive?