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Leading Innovation and Change

Paper type: Essay
Pages: 26 (6385 words)
Categories: Business,Change,Innovation,Innovation And Change,Leadership,Management,Society,Technology
Downloads: 31
Views: 360


In a world growing ever faster than before, innovation and change became inevitable. Innovation brings change and change brings fear and uncertainty. This led many authors and writers to study innovation and change to come up with theories that could help in setting up the innovation and the change for success. In the course of this assignment a critical review of theories of innovation, change and creativity is presented. Starting by theories related to innovation such as Schumpeter theories, the incremental radical innovation, the Henderson –Clark Model, the S-curves framework, the Teece model, the Abernathy- Utterback model, and the disruptive innovation.

This first part also points out the different theories of change grouped under traditional models, critical perspectives, and strategic management models; followed by the different theories of creativity and its components, in addition to a review of the leadership of innovation, change, and creativity. This work also evaluates two practical examples that I have directly experienced in my working place, the first one was unsuccessful, while the second one was successful.

The last part is a critical of my own leadership style, along with an action plan to develop my leadership skills.

1. A critical review of theories of innovation and change, including the leadership of innovation and change. The good management of leading innovation and change inside organizations is crucial in order to succeed in the present highly competitive business environment. Theories and approaches of leadership of innovation and change are good tools to take in consideration inside the organizations, but they could be a bit confusing for practitioners as they do present some dissimilarity. The purpose of this first part of the assignment is to give a critical review of the main theories and approaches of innovation, change, creativity, and leadership.

2.1 Theories of innovation:

Most of the writers agree that innovation is about bringing forward new ideas and implementing them. Von Stamm (2003) described innovation as ‘creativity plus successful implementation’. Adair (2007) also points out that to ‘innovate means literally to bring in or introduce something new – some new idea, method or device’. He also adds that innovation ‘combines two major overlapping processes, having new ideas and implementing them’. While innovation in the past was an element to consider inside organizations, now a day, it is a critical key for the success inside organizations.

The ability to innovate again and again is a must to keep up with the fast growing business, as an example people in the seventies and the eighties use
to buy a TV and keep it for ten years as an average. These days, only six months after you get your TV, you will find newer models with more features. The theories of innovation were developed and reviewed through years; many definitions and classifications were used to identify different types of innovation. These theories range from traditional to disruptive. The Innovation Zen (2006) groups all major theories of innovation and distinguishes seven different theories.

* The Shumpeter theories: ‘Shumpeter developed a theory where a company’s ability to innovate is based on its size. He considers that larger corporations have more resources and market power to develop innovations comparing to smaller firms’. This could be true but only to a certain limit thinking that many large corporations started as small firms and grew up due to their innovative products e.g. ‘apple’. * The incremental radical change: An incremental innovation will build upon existing knowledge and resources within a certain company, meaning it will be competence enhancing. A radical innovation, on the other hand will require completely new resources and knowledge, therefore competence destroying. * The Henderson – Clark model: they divided the technological knowledge required to develop new products, and consequently to introduce innovations, two new dimensions: knowledge of the components and knowledge of the linkage between them called architectural knowledge.

* The S. curves framework: It is a flexible framework to analyze the introduction, growth, and maturation of innovations, and to understand the technological cycles. * The Teece model: David Teece in his theory looked into who will profit from an innovation. Two dimensions are possible in his theory, ‘if complementary assets are freely available and easy for other to imitate it will be difficult to make money out of innovation. If complementary assets are again high, the holder of such assets will be the one profiting from the innovation independently from who developed it’. * The Abernathy – Utterback Model: This model has some similarities with the Teece Model. It has three phases, the fluid phase, the transitional phase and the specific phase. In the fluid phase a great deal of changes takes place as an answer for technological and markets needs. In the transitional phase, producers start to learn more about the technology application and about customers’ needs.

Usually by this time the acceptance of the innovation starts to increase and the market starts growing. At this stage a ‘dominant design’ in the form of a product will emerge. In the specific phase, companies have a clear picture of market segments and will therefore concentrate on serving specific customers. Manufacturing will use highly specialized equipment. * Disruptive innovation: Disruptive innovation will often have characteristics that traditional customer segments may not want, at least initially. Such innovation will appear as cheaper, simpler and even with inferior quality compared to existing products, but some marginal or new segment will value it. If we look at these seven different theories, we can see that there are a lot of similarities and also dissimilarities. Both Shumpeter theories and the Incremental change theories looks into building innovation on existing resources.

Shumpeter considers that big firms are more able to innovate than smaller ones, which could be true in some situations example of Toyota as a big innovative company. However many organizations and businesses were able to be innovative and grew up from small firms to big businesses, e.g. Apple, Google. So it is not only about the resources available but also how much effort you put into innovative ideas and how persistent you are about achieving and implementing new ideas. Also when saying that radical change might destroy competence, would not necessary be the case. Sometimes, an Incremental change is needed in some sectors or departments and a radical change is needed in other sections within the same company. Being able to look at inside resources and competencies as well as outside ones is an asset for organizations.

The Henderson-Clark model also takes into consideration whether the innovation is radical or incremental to analyze the impact on the component knowledge. The S – Curve model considers the technological perspective while the Teece model is more related to the marketing. The Abernathy – Utterback model seems to look in both technological and the market aspects, it also analyzes as well the search for new products taking in consideration the potential of the companies, big firms versus smaller ones; it also establishes whether the innovation is radical or not which leads to the dominant design. At a later stage the Abernathy- Utterback model has similarities with the Teece model where it studies the market, the different stakeholders involved.

The disruptive innovation for instance points out different aspects of innovation other than radical or incremental and prevail that it is not always about the dominant design or product (unlike the Utterback model and the Henderson-Clark model), where some low quality and cheap products might find a value in certain markets. As a conclusion, companies need to set the innovation for success by looking into different theories and models. It is possible as well to adopt certain elements from different theories and come up with a unique model or strategy for the company that suits its innovation vision the best.

Another classification of theories of innovation was given by Von Stamm (2003, p.4-5). She also grouped the different theories proposed by Shumpeter, Clark, Abernathy and others, in order to differentiate four models: * Architectural innovation: Innovation of this sort defines the basic configuration of product and process and establishes technical and marketing agendas that will guide subsequent development. * Market niche innovation: innovation of this sort is opening new market opportunities through the use of existing technology, the effect on production and technical systems being to conserve and strengthen established designs. * Regular innovation: Innovation of this sort involves change that builds on established technical and production competence and that is applied to existing markets and customers. The effect of these changes is to entrench existing skills and resources.

* Revolutionary innovation: innovation of this sort disrupts and renders established technical and production competence, yet is applied to existing markets and customers. Von Stamm (2003, p.7) criticizes these categorizations saying that it focuses on the outcome rather than the process to enable innovation. She also considers that there should be a sort of balance between process and outcome which was clear in her way of defining innovation as the ‘art of making new connections, and continuously challenging the status – quo without changing things for changing sake’. The ability to innovate along with bringing the change inside organizations is crucial in order to bring to life innovative and creative ideas. Therefore the following part is a highlight and a critical review of the theories of change.

2.2 Theories of change:

Planning for change is definitely essential inside organizations for several reasons. Isaksen and Tidd (2006) identified three main reasons for guiding change: ‘increasing pace and volume, growing complexity, and intensifying competition and globalization’. So the aim would be to bring forward innovative ideas, and implement these ideas through a successful change process. Hayes (2010) studied the process of change that goes through different stages:

* Recognize the need and start the change process.
* Diagnosis: review present state and identify future state.
* Plan and prepare to change.
* Implement the change.
* Sustain the change.

Looking into the different theories of innovation and change is a useful tool to prepare innovation and change for success inside organizations. Holbeche (2006), points out four types of change: transactional, incremental, radical and transformational. Another classification of theories of change was given by Carnall (2007), he differs between traditional models, critical perspectives, and strategic management models.

1.2.1 Traditional models:

In the traditional models two parts are involved ‘leaders’ and ‘followers’, and there are four possible approaches: clinical approaches, linear approaches, systems approaches, and emergent change. The clinical approaches propose the concept of psychological contract between employer and employees. It is important also to analyze the team effectiveness, the resistance to change, as well as the leadership dynamics of change. The linear approaches also called managerial approach describes change as a series of steps. One of these approaches was given by Kotter (1996) who identified eight stages:

* Establishing a sense of urgency.
* Creating the guiding of coalition.
* Developing a vision and strategy.
* Communicating the change vision.
* Empowering employees for broad based action.
* Generating short-term wins.
* Consolidating gains and producing more change.
* Anchoring new changes in the culture.

The systems approach takes into consideration the whole system. It gives more autonomy to groups involved in the change. The emergent approaches to change which is a model brought by Carnall (2001) features steps as well, however it distinguishes great companies from good ones. ‘Great companies outperform their sector peers and competitors on financial indicators’. This approach includes two stages. The buildup stage where leaders are encouraged to inspire people. And the breakthrough stage, ‘during which the organization needs to build a passion for its business, products, services, people, etc’. Carnall (2007, p.67-77) criticized these models saying that linear approaches are simple however emergent changes are more dynamic. He also points out that reality is too complex which makes linear models break down easily.

1.2.2 Critical perspectives:

Carnall (2007, p.78-79) mentions the Critical perspectives model that present a different way of examining change. It encourages the different parties involved in the change to share their points of view and their ideas. It also considers that social movements can lead to transformational change as it involves collective actions.

1.2.3 Strategic management:

And finally, Carnall (2007, p.93-04) spoke about Strategic management model. It looks into the type of change whether it is radical or transformational. It analyses resources, innovative capability, competitiveness, level of ambition, and possibilities to define an appropriate change process. As we see there are many theories of change and innovation from which organizations can choose. Sometimes it might be also necessary to follow different approaches at different stages of a change. Personally I found that every model and every theory can make us aware of certain aspects of change and innovation, even though there is not one empirical study or way of managing change and innovation.

However we have to take into consideration that what works for one organization might not necessary work for another one. Another way of seeing it as well could be in terms of success. What an organization considers as success might not be seen as success by the employees who achieved it or other organizations. We tent to evaluate success by numbers (costs and revenues), but what about the socio-cultural aspects. In that sense, Hayes (2010) spoke about ‘organizational flexibility at the expense of individual security and career prospects. People are required to adapt to change and consistently learn new competencies otherwise they can be dismissed or out of jobs.

1.2 The theories of creativity:

Isaksen and Tidd (2006, p.69) brought forward a definition for creativity stating that it is ‘the making and communicating of meaningful new connections to help us think of many possibilities, to helps us think and experience in varied ways and using different points of view, and to guide us in generating and selecting alternatives. These new connections and possibilities must result in something of value for the individual, group, organization, or society. In her article, Making sense of creativity, Jane Henry (1991) summarizes different views on the origin of creativity, identifying five sources: * Grace: creativity comes through divine inspiration, it is something that comes to us so you either have it or not.

* Accident: it is the kind of creativity that arises through scientific discoveries. * Association: Creativity occurs through the application of procedures from one area to another. Lateral thinking and brainstorming are methods supporting this approach to creativity. Training is considered as a way to improve levels of creativity inside companies. * Cognitive: Creativity relies on normal cognitive process, such as recognition, reasoning and understanding. This theory emphasizes hard work and productivity, as well as identifying a problem and finding a solution. Therefore, it could be argued that the cognitive approach is about implementation not creativity.

* Personality: Creativity is seen as a particular human ability, an intrinsic part of life and growth. As mention in the definition of innovation earlier, innovation is the implementation of creative ideas. Thinking that creativity is a grace is like saying that creative people would have excellent ideas for all different fields of life which is not true, some people are creative in music for instance, others in sciences, etc. Which bring us to the concept that creativity is not something divine but it is more the result of a process that involved personal motivation, in addition to experience, training and working in an environment that stimulate creativity. Amabile (1998) has identified five environmental components that affect creativity: * Encouragement of creativity (supporting new ideas at all level of the organization) * Autonomy or freedom (sense of individual ownership and control over work) * Resources (Materials, information).

* Pressures (positive challenging and negative workload pressure). * Organizational impediments to creativity.  Amabile (1998) identified three more components that affect creativity and related to the individual himself. * Expertise: is in a word, technical procedural and intellectual * Creative thinking skills: determine how flexibly and imaginatively people approach problems. Do their solutions upend the status quo? Do they preserve through dry spells. * Motivation: Not all motivation is created equal. Ann inner passion to solve the problem at hand leads to solutions far more creative than do external rewards such as money. This component – called intrinsic motivation – is the one that can be most immediately influenced by the work environment.

2. The leadership of innovation, change, and creativity

Innovation, change, and creativity are closely linked to each other. Senior and Fleming (2006, p.420) spoke about three aspects that links creativity and innovation in order to bring change. – Creative and innovative approaches to change are more likely to flow from a diverse workforce. – Creativity and innovation require a creative organizational climate if they are to flourish. – The organization and its managers need to foster structures and processes that facilitate creativity. So leadership inside organizations and firms is what is going to help the innovation, the creativity and the change to take place.

3.3 Theories and models of leadership:

Many theories and models of leadership were brought by writers, some related to the strategies, some to the practices, others are related to the change or the leader personality. 3.4.1 The model of leadership strategies:

Bennis and Nannus (1985) considered the examination of commitment, complexity, and credibility. Leadership is the wise use of power and leaders should be capable of deploying their ideas and themselves and ready to take risk which lead to a transformative leadership that ‘achieves significant change that reflects the community of interests of both leaders and followers; indeed it frees up and pools the collective energies in pursuit of a common goal’.

3.4.2 The model of leadership practices:

Leaders will turn challenging opportunities into remarkable success; they seek opportunities and take risk which is similar to leadership strategies. In addition to inspiring a shared vision, and enlisting the support of others. Kouzes and Posner (2010) also consider a third practice which enables others to act, including fostering collaboration and strengthening others. Leaders involve others in planning, demonstrate respect, allowing others to make decisions, developing cooperative relationships and creating an atmosphere of trust.

The fourth practice is modeling the way it includes setting an example and planning small wins. The kind of behaviors leaders demonstrate include: being clear about their own philosophy of leadership, breaking projects into smaller steps, assuring that the values are adhered to, letting others know about beliefs and values, and setting clear goals. The final practice is about recognizing contributions and celebrating accomplishments, praising a job well done, giving the team appreciation and support.

3.4.3 Ekvall’s model, the leadership and change:

Isksen and Tidd (2006, p.132) spoke about EKvall’s theory that differs three dimensions: production centered, employee centered leadership, and the third one related to change and development, it includes ‘offering ideas about new and different ways of doing things, pushing for growth, intiating new projects; experimenting new ways of doing things, and thinking about and planning for the future’.

3.4.4 Servant leadership model:

Isaksen and Tidd (2006) highlighted the servant leadership model. A great leader must serve the others first, true creative leadership emerges from those whose primary motivation is a desire to help others.

3.4.5 The five levels of leadership by Collins:

Another model pointed out by Isaksen and Tidd (2006) is the five levels of leadership given by Collins. It follows a hierarchy and levels. In the first level, the highly capable individuals make productive contributions through their talents, knowledge skills, and good work habits. In the second level, team members will add their individual capabilities to the achievement of group goals. In the third level, the competent manager organizes people and resources toward the efficient pursuit of organizational objectives.

In the fourth level, the leader generates commitment and energy for a clear and compelling vision and stimulates high performance standards. And a fifth level, where the leader builds enduring greatness through a paradoxical blend of humility and will. And this is the level that would turn a company from good to great, regardless the size or the age of an organization. (isaksen and tidd).

3.4.6 Situational leadership:

The situational leadership style model implements a variety of leadership style depends on the maturity of the followers. Blanchard (2011) points out four possible styles: * Delegating style: allowing the group to take responsibility for task decisions; this is a low-task, low relationship style. * Participating style: emphasizing shared ideas and participative decisions on task directions; low-task, high-relationship style. * Selling style: explaining task directions in a supportive and persuasive way, this is a high-task, high relationship style.

* Telling style: giving specific task directions and closely supervising work, this a high-task, low relationship style. Participating styleShare ideasFollowers able, unwilling, not confident.| Selling styleExplain decisionsFollowers unable, willing, confident.| Delegating styleTurn over decisionsFollowers able, willing, confident.| Telling styleGive instruction Followers unable, unwilling, not confident.|

If we examine all these theories, we find that they all look at leaders inside organizations as change agents. Having leaders who have the right skills, personality and talents, will drive companies towards success. They all encourage creativity and team input. In the other hand, leaders might take wrong decisions sometimes, or take a risk at an inappropriate time as they are exposed to various challenges. Carnall (2007, p.152) has also spoke about the contingency approach. The approach argues that the effectiveness of any leadership style or behavior will be contingent on the situation. Which also lead us to the situational leadership theory where different situations will require different leadership styles (delegating, participating, selling, and telling).

And again with this approach of different leadership styles and how to involve followers there are many constraints such as the change of employees, the involvement of new stakeholders, the emergence of new competitors and the development of new needs in the market. So many characteristics are required to be an excellent leader which makes it hard to find all these skills in one person, and if found it is the result of a lot of hard work and continuous self-development. Which bring us to what Holbeche (2006, p.258), points out in her book understanding change, ‘leaders are involved with bringing about change, whether they are in top management roles for developing new strategic directions, or in more junior leadership positions charged with finding new, smarter, cheaper, faster ways of getting the core business done’.

So leading cannot be a solo work, it is a group effort. Employees at all levels are required to have a certain level of leadership skills. Leaders should also be aware of the role of the team and encourage an open culture, as holbeche (2006, p.276) said ‘leaders should stimulate an open culture’. In another sense, leaders should demonstrate constructive support inside organizations, praise their teams, and place the values of the organization above their personal interests. Von stamm (2003, p.389-390), spoke about leaders commitment to innovation even in the most difficult situations, ‘leaders will engage in radical innovation and plan for the future’. Which is ideal, but not often the case as difficult situations like recessions might affect the motivation of the leaders, as well as the reaction of the team towards the changes.

3.4 overcoming resistance to change:

Many organizations focus on a single element of a change project, such as looking at structure or strategy; whereas successful change programs take a more complete view of all the elements influencing the final outcome. In the other side people involved, worried that change will result in more work for them or feeling that they have been dealt with unfairly in the process. By spending a greater amount of time in the diagnosis stage, many organizations could avoid many difficulties. Adair (2007, p.111-123) suggests five principles to overcome resistance to change. * Plough up the ground: ‘prepare the way for the change’, create some dissatisfaction with things as they are to induce a willingness to change. * Market your ideas: ‘persuade others that the proposed change is a good one, showing that it is useful, practicable, and commercial’.

* Have a practice run: suggest an experiment, ‘if something is tried and tested, it is much more likely to be accepted’. * Make change incremental: ‘innovation should always be evolutionary rather than revolutionary’. It should be planned gradually. * Use of leadership: ‘top leadership should be committed and enthusiastic about the change’, and able to win others commitment. To win people commitment, it is important to engage them at an emotional and a rational level. It is also important to clarify the outcomes, the goals, the reason behind the change, and also to avoid surprises, and recognize the people who have the ability to adapt to change quickly as they can influence others.

3. An evaluation of a successful and less successful innovation/change of which I have personal experience, related to relevant theory.

I work for a strong air transport company in the Middle East, it has over 100 destinations and over 45000 employees. The company has in general experience many successful changes and few unsuccessful ones. In the following, an example of a non-successful change and a successful one that I have closely experienced within my actual job.

4.5 A non-successful change:

These days, the future of air careers will be decided by its ability to harness emerging technologies to deliver superior customer experience and engender loyalty while empowering employees and improving operational efficiencies. In this direction, the company, I am working for has set up ‘the Nujoum Experiential Program’ for all staff who are in direct contact with customers. The company designed a highly interactive and engaging program to enable employees to embrace service personality. Nujoum is the word for ‘stars’ in Arabic, and was chosen as a name for this program. Nujoum defines four qualities to help employees serve in their own individual style and at the same time express the company personality. It encourages crew to be considerate, personal and thorough, in how they treat customers and each other. They are also encouraged to embrace the airlines pioneering spirit by stretching themselves and always going further.

The Nujoum program takes place in a purpose built center where staff goes through a two days training. This center was built three years back at a cost of 2 million dollars approximately, and that was only for the construction of the place that included a massive hall for activities, computer room and fine dining hall; in addition to other expenses for operation and management reasons. If we look into this change and compare some of the elements to some of the stages of change given by Kotter approach (1996): * ‘Establishing a sense of urgency’, the need for this program was not urgent; it was an idea to enhance the employees service personality, in order to reduce customers complaints. * ‘Communicating the change vision’, the change was communicated and a training was provided for this purpose. However, it is a change that was forced on the employees and was established by management and communicated downward. * ‘empowering employees for broad base action’, the program was all about empowering employees.

* When it comes to ‘generating short term wins’, ‘consolidating gains’, and ‘anchoring new changes’, the Nujoum program lacked of success measuring tools. Customers complaints concerning staff attitude was not reduced, and after three years from running this program, no short term wins or long term wins were communicated. If we look into the similarities with Carnall (2001) model, this change was about inspiring people, making the staff passionate about the company products and services. However, reality was more complicated where employees are required to work additional hours harder than before, also the staff resources are very limited.

In the other hand, this change was incremental as the company use to train the staff before on being personal. The only difference with this program was the introduction of a new building and a new set of activities, this time at a high cost without achieving the required success from this program. Other ideas that would have been an alternative to this costly project would have been to look into staff concerns which are affecting their performances or holding them from bringing their service personality forward while at work. As a conclusion, the program did not benefit the company, neither the employees nor the customers.

4.6 A successful change:

During the last recession, the company has set new policies to overcome the recession without having to dismiss her employees. This change was an excellent example of good use of leadership skills. Despite the hard economic situation that started in 2008, the company made a net profit of 1.1 billion dollars in 2009/2010 financial year due to some changes that were incorporated. The global recession had a huge impact on the air transport industry with a reduced number of travelers and the high prices of fuel. The chairman of the company set the tone to overcome this situation, stating that ‘we are founded upon pioneering and innovative ideals, the challenge of the past year has been to maintain these values in the most challenging of economic circumstances’. The chairman vision succeeded and many strategies were placed, and mainly they were to continue to innovate and to keep the talented staff. A cost-containing strategy was communicated amongst all the staff. Management was open to all ideas given by the employees. The aim was to manage cost effectively without affecting customer’s experiences.

Proposed ideas did not have to go through a long process to get approved on which made it easy and quick to implement. Some of the examples were to keep all the juices boxes sealed unless requested, removing the preserves of customers’ trays, opening requested wines only and many other things. Employees would send the emails directly to their managers and the management would send it to product development that in return will approve it and generated as an update. This new policy was very successful and every three months, the company was communicating the success achieved, congratulating all the staff for the effort made. Prizes and appreciation letters were given to every employee who suggested an efficient idea. This change is a good example of kotter (1996) model, ‘establishing a sense of urgency’,’ a vision was communicated’,’ employees were empowered’, ‘gains consolidated’.

The company also managed to stand up and make a profit in a time where competitors were firing their employees and losing money. Which is similar to what Carnall (2001) identify as a great company saying that ‘Great companies outperform their sector peers and competitors on financial indicators’. It also has a similarity with the strategic management model given by Carnall (2001) in terms of looking in the available resources and competitiveness amongst the employees. This change is the realistic example of the leadership model of practices ‘leaders will turn challenging opportunities into remarkable successes practices’,

4. A reflection on my personal performance as a leader of innovation and change.

One of the reasons why I wanted to enroll to the MALIC program was my enthusiasm to develop my leadership skills. My actual role requires me to utilize different leadership styles considering that we have staff from over 120 different nationalities. In addition, members within the same team are from different age generations.

5.7 My personal performance

One of my strengths lay on my ability to adapt to change, and to motivate the team members to do their assigned tasks in a positive manner. I promote teamwork and I encourage members to present their ideas and come up with solutions. My leadership style involves flexibility and creating nice working atmosphere that promotes inclusion. And I really like what Adair (1996), summarize about flexibility, saying that ‘flexibility is the ability – personal as well as corporate – for modifying, altering and perhaps radically changing what you are doing.’ I am open to change and I consistently work on building relationships, and help people to expand themselves. When it comes to taking risk, even though it happens sometimes, I believe it is an area that I should develop more. I encourage team talks, to help the team members finding solutions and resolving conflicts. Comparing to the situational leadership, I do vary my leadership style, if I have new members in the team I use more the ‘telling style’, while when I work with experienced team members I use the ‘delegating style’. I always set up the expectations with the different teams and set a goal to achieve. I encourage the team to be creative to exceed customers’ expectations.

Team members are praised consistently for their work and emails are sent to management department, highlighting their high performance. The teams I work with are multi-cultural and cosmopolitan, which make cultural respect a start point. Seeking positive outcomes by respecting everybody and being a good listener is one of my strength. Also in return, there are many challenges that I do face consistently, the physical workspace is restricted and has very limited resources, and on every working day there is a new team to lead and members that I have never met before. And for that I need to have analytical skills to overcome with confidence all these challenges. Other challenges that I face are related to my personal characters, such as setting unrealistic timelines, which make the people around me feel rushed, and in return perform less. Sometimes I receive comments such as ‘what the hurry for’.

I do also tend to neglect routine assignments which affect the quality of my work and give the impression to the team members that they can do the same. Working on my leadership abilities and skills is an ongoing project for me. And the best way to develop my leadership style would be to look into all the different theories of leadership. For instance, looking into Bennis and Nannus theories will help me using ‘transformative leadership’ which will increase commitment and goals achievement within my team. Another interesting theory to learn from is ‘leadership practices’ especially when it comes to inspire others, share a vision and create an atmosphere of trust.

Looking at the ‘leadership and change theory’ is a good reminder that leadership can be achieved in different dimensions; in addition to the ‘situational leadership’ given by Blanchard, from which I learned to use different leadership styles when facing different situations. Therefore, the application of all these different leadership theories can influence the development of my leadership skills. These theories will also help me to identify my areas of development for which I have set a plan of action detailed in the following part of this assignment.

5.8 My action Plan:

With regards to neglecting routine assignments, setting unrealistic timelines, as well as not taking risk when appropriate, I do understand the impact that this might have on the teams I work with, the company and the different stakeholders involved. As for the options I have to overcome these issues, I have prepared the list below.

* Set a yearly plan for expected results. * Set a monthly plan for tasks and projects that I have to achieve with clear frameworks and deadlines. * Write a daily agenda that includes all daily routine assignments so they do not get neglected. * Specify one hour a day for completing routine assignments. * Build up more confidence to enable myself to take more risks when needed. Promote my last two suggestions related to cost containing, and keep on developing my creative skills and my abilities to change. * To improve my leadership styles and to move my performance from effective to excellent, as well as developing my analytical skills I will be writing the different scenarios in which I had to use leadership skills, and analyzing it by comparing it to the different theories mentioned earlier. Make a grid that includes the type of leadership style used, the people involved and the outcomes, the impact of the style used on the employees, the different partners, and the company in general


The relationship between innovation, change, and creativity is very dynamic. The literature addressing this topic is massive and diverse. This assignment covered two different classifications of theories of innovation. All these theories agree on the need of innovation inside organizations, and they do complete each other despite some dissimilarity. Innovation will be more successful when well studied and prepared for. Companies need to look into more than one theory before establishing an innovation. As innovation lead to change, the change should be clear about the outcomes and how to achieve it; taking into consideration the financial, technical and human resources available, without forgetting to experiment it first, and to put in place tools to measure and test its credibility.

To materialize the idea of change/innovation, a leadership strategy should be established. Organizations must trust leaders and in return leaders must work together with the team to implement change. Good leaders will specify short-term and long-term goals. They are aware of the role of the team, they encourage inclusion, they recognize contribution, and praise employees work. And finally, any successful or unsuccessful change inside organizations leave a lesson to learn from. Successful changes are a remarkable improvement of what existed before, and it benefits the organizations, the team, and the customers unlike the unsuccessful ones.

Bennis, W.G. and Nannus, G. (1985) Leaders. New York, Harper & Row. Henry, J. (1991) Making sense of creativity. In Henry, J. creative management. London. Hayes, J. (2010) The Theory and Practice of Change Management. 3rd ed, Palgrave Mcmillan. Kotter, J. (1996) Leading change. 2nd ed, Harvard Business School. Kouzes, J.M. and Posner, B. (2010) The Leadership Challenge activities. San Francisco, Pfeiffer. Isaksen, S. and Tidd, J. (2006) Meeting the Innovation Challenge: Leadership for Transformation and Growth. Brighton, UK, University of Sussex. Von stamm, B. (2003) Managing Innovation, Design and Creativity. England, John Wiley & Sons. Adair, J. (2007) Leadership for Innovation. Great Britain, Kogan Page Limited. Carnall, C. (2007) Managing Change in Organizations. 5th ed., England, Pearson Education Limited. Holbeche, L. (2006) Understanding Change Theory, Implementation and Success. Great Britain, Elsevier. Senior, B. and Fleming, J. (2006) Organizational Change. 3rd ed, England, Pearson Education Limited. Blanchard, H. (2011) A Leader Lives in Each of Us. Available from http://docs.google.com/viewer? [Accessed 03 January 2012]. Amabile, T. (1998) How to Kill Creativity. Harvard Business Review. September-October, 76-87. Available from http://www.sagepub.com/upm-data/11 [Accessed 28 December 2011]. Innovation
Zen: The innovation theory (2006) Available from <http://innovationzen.com/blog/2006> [Accessed 20 October 2011].

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Leading Innovation and Change. (2016, Sep 28). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/leading-innovation-and-change-essay

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