Too often, companies have heads of innovation who report to a senior vice president, who in turn reports to a C-level executive like a chief technology officer. This is sufficient for optimising a company’s current business model, but it’s not enough for a company seeking radical reinvention.
Innovation thrives when it has power and status within an organisation.
To enable real innovative growth and rapid response in the face of such crises such as Covid-19 boards and company leaders must structure top organisational roles to give innovative efforts the resources and attention they need.
Over the years I've found that leaders generally fall into 3 key areas when it comes to 'change';
- At a logical level they fully understand and accept that for things to move on change needs to happen - this view is initially is driven by the leadership team.
- At an emotional level is where most of the resistance to that change occurs - this is also driven by the leadership team, and filters down.
- Despite all the evidence saying the "old model is broken" they persist on keeping it alive - sometimes 'it's easier to give birth than it is to raise the dead'.
So what you are faced with are the people who are charged with that 'change and transformation strategy' understand the logic, but constrain themselves and the company with the emotional elements associated with that change.
It also seems it pays to be connected via social media, especially if you're running a multi-billion dollar company.
A study by the Edelman Trust Barometer found that 67% of consumers trust “company technical experts,” while only 43% trust CEOs. Employee generated content is often more authentic than company-produced content.
Therefore, consumers are more likely to trust what individuals have to say over any corporate communication.
Matching content with a face helps brands gain consumer trust.
Transformation isn't about digital, channels, tech, Apps, websites, or other fixed mindset stuff, it's totally about being consumer centric.
Always, always, work back from the customer working out how you can best solve their needs and add value by leveraging what you have to build the transformation bridges to the new future.
In the “old school” command and control methods of leadership, the leader was held responsible for results and the followers were responsive to the leader (as in, “When I say, Jump, you say, How high"). Modern leadership theories take an opposite position (followers are responsible for results and leaders are responsive to the followers needs).