For business to grow today, requires a new type of leadership.
Traditional leadership has been command and control, a "we know best" style of leadership, that got Kodak, Nokia and MySpace where they are today.
Leadership has to be open and leadership needs to understand the world we live in. Somebody told me the other day about a senior leader that joked "that they needed to get their children to do anything more sophisticated on their phone than using Whatsapp".
For any company that has senior leadership like that, this must be scary.
I'm also aware of a company that told us "we don't need to understand social, we have employed interns to do all that".
I'm not saying that leaders need to understand Twitter, I'm just saying that leaders need to understand the business benefit, how they can gain additional revenue with social and gain competitive advantage with social.
Innovation within a business is a department, no different from sales and marketing and that requires leadership that supports continuous change, continuous improvement and support agility.
However! That sort of transformation is only going to occur if senior leaders first embrace the mindset, attitudes and behaviours which go with transformation in pursuit of innovation. And that’s a big ‘however’ as statistics indicate that in far too many instances, leadership approaches are still firmly rooted in transactional thinking. Because of legacy approaches, management style and outdated hierarchical structures, we unfortunately still see evidence of leadership and management for that matter, centred around a “do what I say and don’t ask questions” culture. Admittedly that’s a fairly drastic example but it does illustrate some of the aspects of transactional leadership; most notably the way in which transactional leaders are highly directive, action oriented and controlling, focussing on supervision and performance above all else.