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Leadership Studies Paper

Question

Leadership, Change & Innovation

Leadership, change, and innovation all go hand-in-hand and you cannot do one without the other. Explain why an organization must have strong leadership and a culture for change for innovation to work. Find examples among scholarly journals showing how being an innovative leader could affect strategic planning, succession planning, leadership developing strategies, and diversity in organizational settings.
Discipline: ORG 8615 Advanced Topics in Organizational Development & Leadership 

Answer

Leadership, Change and Innovation

Why an Organization Must Have Strong Leadership and a Culture for Change for Innovation to Work

The consistent change in the business world attributed to technology advancement and trend cycles requires alertness when it comes to leadership in organizations. Effectiveness in leadership is achieved when a leader becomes aware of, comprehends, and suggests a change that is desirable for a company (Sabia, 2011). Decisions can be made about changes that can be done in an organization, but leaders should ask themselves if the changes are achievable and worth undertaking. The vision and competency of a leader define their innovative approach (Lacey, 2014).

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Strong leadership should be able to identify and understand the need of change in relation to economic conditions with proper utilization of resources (Lacey, 2014). The future of an institution should be the focal point in leadership. This means that incorporating both the current and projecting for the future is what leadership should focus on. The success of an organization can be said to lie on its flexibility to and preparedness for future prospects. Additionally, team building should be encouraged to allow innovativeness in an organization through mentorship in workplaces.

Leaders should be willing and ready to invest in the current workforce to create a strong and committed culture thereby making room for adaptation to change. Effective mentorship allows staff to evaluate themselves and understand what they want for a company in the future through value addition (Weinroth, 2014).  Leaders should understand that mentorship entails supporting employees in their projects, inspiring them as well as identifying areas that need to be worked on (Brosseau, 2014). In order to establish the above, leaders can approach mentorship like telling a story. This is because it is easier to remember a story than blurt out facts and figures (O’Hara, 2014).

How Being an Innovative Leader Could Affect an Organization

Understanding that one is part of a team makes employees relate to leaders in a better way as opposed toviewing themselves (leaders) as heroes. The best impact is exerted by lessons learned when growing up (in business) in terms of leadership experience. It is vital if the employees feel their contribution is appreciated by which a leader can appraise their continued efforts (O’Hara, 2014). Consequently, it boosts their morale and willingness to uphold a leader’s innovative ideas and the culture of change. When a leader can identify with employees’ experiences, it becomes easier for them to be inspired to grow (Mind Tools, 2017).

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Being innovative requires an energetic attempt to achieve a goal which takes a process and at times has its own struggles. Identifying these challenges and being able to acknowledge that they are part of growth helps employees to connect with a leader. A good leader should be able to admit that he is susceptible to criticism, persuasion, failure or temptation and not all-rounded in perfection (Brosseau, 2014). This means that a culture for change should be encouraged when there is an incentive for the initiative of change.

Conclusion

To sum up, from the above illustrations, it is certain that change in an organization depends on a leader’s strength (or rather vision) and effectiveness. How a leader deals with staff and employees relates to the organization’s performance and innovation. Being a good storyteller unites a leader and an organization’s staff by being able to mentor, inspire and encourage (Vermeulen, 2012). A culture of change can be cultivated and maintained when there are clear guidelines given by a leader, which means strategies that are necessary for an organization’s wellbeing. Thus, strategic planning by an innovative leader will allow establishment of an effective culture of change and consequently give room for innovation.

References

Brosseau, D. (2014). Why Leaders Are Great Storytellers. Entrepreneur Media, Inc., (Web).

Lacey, D. (2014). Leader or Storyteller? Try: Both. Workplace Engagement Insights (Web).

Mind Tools (2017). Business Storytelling: Using Stories to Inspire. Mind Tools (Web).

O’Hara, C. (2014). How to Tell a Great Story. Havard Business Review, (Web).

Sabia, T. (2011). The technology of storytelling.Ted Talks, (Web).

Vermeulen, F. (2012). The Narrative Advantage. London Business School Review, 23(3), 55-57.

Weinroth, A. (2014). The Science of Storytelling (Infographic). Business 2 Community, (Web).

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