5 Ways People Managers Can Become Innovation Champions

Does this innovation challenge sound familiar? Your team leaders and managers acknowledge the importance of innovation and even sing its praises—but if you ask them how they routinely champion innovation within their teams, you might get crickets. The problem is that most people managers, while they recognize the need for innovation initiatives, don’t engage in these initiatives themselves. Innovation isn’t their job; their main concern is ensuring employees get the necessary day-to-day work done. People managers are good at directing and growing what already exists but often struggle to guide their teams to new ways of thinking and creating. Imagine what would happen to them, to their teams, to the organization if the opposite were true. Championing innovation can be difficult, but is very achievable if you invest the time, no matter the size of your team or organization. Follow these five guidelines and foster the self-confidence and awareness to successfully take your team from simply good at innovation to out-innovating the competition. Grow Your Self-Awareness Many leaders report low self-awareness, which can impact how they lead and even the organization’s bottom line. Growing this essential leadership skill will help you be aware of other blind spots. It’s a baseline from which you can improve as an innovator and, in turn, help others become better innovators.