Essay On Leadership And Innovation
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Leadership and Change Management
Successful change management is highly dependent upon the effective leadership style. If the leadership is effective than only the change management could become result oriented. Here in this report the effectiveness of leadership with respect to change management has been examined. For the same purpose certain management theories and models has been applied so that the deep knowledge about the subject matter could be developed.
Summarise the key themes from the literature
The leadership style is something that has huge relevancy with the change management and most importantly it is highly relevant with the two major aspects of change management. First are those leaders always focusing upon the identification of change that could be required in near past or for the future course of action. Second factor is that the leadership always focuses upon the implementation of that identified change within the organization. Between these two factors the leaders or managers focus on variety of aspects which are completely dependent upon their leadership style. With the leadership style it becomes easier to control the situation and most importantly the change could be inherited within the business operations. The implications of various leadership styles could shed more light on the discussed topic. If any manager has identified the change then it shows the transformation leadership style form his side. The leaders who focus upon the visionary approach they normally show their inclination towards the transformational leadership style. Thus it is a basis of change that has been experienced. It is a responsibility of leaders that they need to identify the available opportunities into the business environment and have to make decisions accordingly. Afterwards the major responsibilities and duties of manager start towards the implementation of change. Here the manager need to create the aura of transactional leadership style and has to apply various other leadership style along with transactional one.
The transactional leadership style facilitates to inherit discipline and core management practices within the organization which are most required and prevalent ingredients for the change management. It should be the core focus area for the leader but need to rely upon various other leadership styles also. The managers need to understand that people behave in different manner and it is not easier for everyone to accept the change. Thus here the role of situational leadership style is immense. Through supportive leadership style the manager can try to understand the reason behind the resistance level of employees. Further the supportive leadership style is most suitable with the perspective of gaining the vote of confidence from employees. Ahead another essential factor for the successful implementation of change should also clear to the leaders as it is also a part of supportive leadership style. The list of essential factors includes the explanation of benefits that could be availed by both company and employees. Through providing the reasons behind the change the manager can eradicate the sense of fear and easy implementation could be noticed. Without providing the reason behind the change the manager cannot justify with the change management and can never get support from the employees. After becoming familiar with the reasons behind introducing the change it could be possible that the staff people can give their contribution towards the planned change.
The major area of concern is that once the change has been proposed now the manager need to focus on communicating the change to the staff people and have to take their consent towards the change. The participative leadership style could help immensely in the change management as it provides the guideline to deal with the resistance level of employees. The combination of both supportive and participative leadership style could be highly immense on the ground of effective change management. The element of participative leadership indicates towards the fact that the employees and other stakeholders must be communicated properly towards the change and their opinions must also get reverence into the change management process. They should have information about the change. Thus the participative leadership provides the favorable environment towards the change implementation. Further the leadership style of laissez faire could not be effective at any cost until n unless the organizations have highly experienced and motivated employees. Through laissez faire the employees can never think better and effective decisions for them. Actual it is very common fact that change may be increases the efficiency and productivity of the company but implementing the change is actually is very tough task. It demands huge patients and efforts in terms of aligning with new change. So it might be possible that through laissez faire leadership style the employees can postpone the change on their cost of hard work and comfortable working environment. In laissez faire style of leadership the leaders don’t interfere much into the decision making process and according to various management experts this style of leadership is not ideal leadership. On the contrary same fact has been delivered by the management experts that if any kind of change is demanded only in upper hierarchy level, where top level employees understand the urgency of change for their growth and benefits, the organization should adopt the laissez faire style of leadership.
Mostly adopted leadership style is the autocratic leadership that has been relied by most of the managers and leaders in today’s business world. Through autocratic leadership style the managers try to suppress the employees and foster the environment of following their instructions only. Here the combination of transactional and autocratic leadership could be noticed. Through transactional leadership the manager’s remains stick towards the huge level of discipline and autocratic leadership style make the scenario more worst. These leadership styles show the negative impact and most importantly the level of job dissatisfaction also increases at very large scale. Staff people feel highly de-motivated and just feel the restrictions and stress at workplace. It just minimizes the productivity also and the change management could produce negative results. Thus in this way these are certain traditional leadership styles which have their impact at the change management process in both negative and positive manner.
The most interesting fact about today’s globalized business environment is that none of the leader or manager can rely upon the implementation of one leadership style within the organization. There is huge requirement of focusing upon the innovative leadership style that might help with respect to manage the globalization. Now days in organization the level of diversity is very huge and managers need to deal with people who possess various behavioral aspects. It is not easy to predict the nature of any person and one leadership style could not be suitable for every staff people. So here the situational leadership style is most idealized and suitable. It supports every style of leadership within one manager. The time has come that the managers develop their personality traits in such a way that they could behave in situational way. The situational leadership facilitates the leaders to react as per the situation and managing the change in an appropriate and effective manner.
Topic’s relevancy for project managers
On the basis of above discussion about the leadership theories with the context of change management it could be stated that there is positive relationship between change management and leadership. The leadership styles are major management approach which is relevant for managers in order to handle their business operations and controlling the various variables of business environment. The project managers are the one who handles the big projects and the elements of uncertainty and unpredictable business environment is very common for them. The change into the various aspects of particular project is the major issue of their task or project. But as per the viewpoint of various change managers it is to acknowledge that handling the responses and resistance of stakeholder is more challenging then the change management or implementation. The managers work as linkage between the top level employees and lower level employees. The managers have to convince both the parties for the particular change as if they failed to do so then the change cannot be implemented properly and the efficiency of project or any task could also go down. Thus aligning with the leadership qualities is highly required for complete change management process, straight from change identification to monitoring and controlling of change.
The managers need to understand that after the change the performance improvement is possible only if the leaders are able to align with the effective leadership style. Above the expediency of situational leadership style has been depicted in an articulated manner. The manager needs to develop the skill set to mold the behavior as per the situation and the way people are behaving after the change. It can increase their familiarity with the significance of leadership and change management both. The leadership is nothing if it is not effective to bring appropriate results towards introducing the innovation and continuous improvement within the organization. The continuous improvement and change process both are required to be handled and it could be possible only through aligning with appropriate leadership styles.
The relevancy of this topic is directly related to the improvement in the leadership qualities of the leader. Mainly the huge level of improvement could be faced on the ground of people handling skills. The leader or project manager could come to know that how people could be managed as per their behavioral aspects. It is one of the major improvements that could be availed by the project managers. The leadership style provides the wide range of skills with respect to people handling and dealing with their changing moods and perspectives. The leaders can understand the two most basic requirements of leadership quality. Effective communication and developing the trust could also become effective after gaining the proper understanding about the above study. It is to acknowledge that the effective communication is the basis of bringing the change within the organization. None of the project manager can bring change until n unless it is not communicated to the people of company. It must be communicates properly and its pros cons all must be clear to the stakeholders. If the communication is not effective then the doubts and resistance will be obvious scenario with the organization. Ahead the trust level of stakeholders is second stage to move on from informing stage. Once the proposed or identified change is communicated then there is huge requirement of developing the trust level among the people so that their consensus of maximum number of people could be generated. It is essential for the continuity of change. It is also possible when the planning of the project manager is effective. Again it is linked to the transformation leadership style that the visionary approach of the leader or manager is essential with respect to identify the benefits or disadvantages of any change strategy. It is another benefit that could be availed by the project managers that can influence the stakeholders through explaining the proper planning and possible benefits. Thus the trust and confidence of employees could be gained at very large scale. Once the project managers has informed and gained the vote of confidence then it is essential to manage the change and monitor the results as per the expected results. Any kind of loop holes must be eradicated on the immediate basis. Keeping the eyes on the change activities is also a quality trait of transactional leadership style. Thus in this way it could be stated that leadership can show its expediency in effective change management.
Thus it becomes clear that diverse leadership qualities are effective into the different situation of change management. The leaders cannot focus on one leadership skill or quality if they are dedicated to yield positive result out of that change.
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Who are innovative leaders? What are their qualities and how do they drive innovation within an organization? Jeffrey Baumgartner provides a tantalizing profile to which we can aspire.
The word “innovator,” to describe an individual, is used far too widely these days. As I have written in the past, business innovation is a collaborative affair that runs from idea, through development to implementation. This process normally involves many people with various expertise. So the notion of a lone innovator simply does not exist.
Usually, when people speak of innovators, what they really mean are “creative thinkers.” in other words, people who are able to generate creative ideas that become the basis of innovations. Sometimes, however, what people mean by “innovator” is what we will call an “innovative leader.” Classic examples of innovative leaders include people like Steve Jobs (CEO of Apple) and Thomas Alva Edison (who commercialiZed electric lighting and many related things). Innovative leaders are creative visionaries who have big ideas and, most importantly, can motivate people around them to turn those ideas into reality.
An innovative leader does not even need to be the person who creates the idea behind an innovation. Often, she simply recognizes a great idea – perhaps devised by a subordinate – and envisions the path that leads to that idea’s becoming a reality. Indeed, I would argue that creative genius is less important in an innovative leader than is the ability to form a vision around an idea or set of ideas. And once she has formed that vision, she needs to be able to share with employees, suppliers and business partners the vision as well as enthusiasm for turning that vision into a reality.
Creative genius is less important in an innovative leader than is the ability to form a vision around an idea or set of ideas.
Imagination and communication
In order to achieve this, the innovative leader needs a powerful imagination and excellent communications skills. She also needs to have confidence in her team and their ability to work together to achieve that dream.
The innovative leader is not a micro-manager. She focuses on the big picture and works with creative thinkers who can add to that vision and make it greater. Micro-managers, on the other hand, tend to stifle creativity and focus far too much on the details – causing them and their teams to lose sight of the big picture.
Perhaps most importantly, the innovative leader needs to be able to communicate her vision and generate enthusiasm for it. Her team needs to be able to see the vision themselves and be willing to invest their own time and resources into making it happen. Innovative leaders know that leadership by demand is far less effective at encouraging creativity and innovation than is leadership through motivation and inspiration.
Ideally, team members will also be making creative contributions to the project. After all, innovative projects are almost never comprised of a single idea. Although they may have got their start from a solo idea, in the end they are the result of dozens or more ideas, ideas on improving the original concept, ideas on how to implement it, ideas to solve problems as the concept is developed and so on.
Willing to kill when necessary
An innovate leader needs to recognize when her project is not working and be willing to kill it, no matter how much emotional investment she has put into it. She knows that if the project will not generate sufficient value to warrant continued development, she would do better to invest her energy, resources and time in a new innovative project. This is something many people find difficult to do with pet projects.
Innovative leaders are not just CEOs. They can be team leaders, division managers and others who manage people and projects. However, for a team leader to be an innovative leader, she very likely works under an innovative leader of a CEO. She certainly works in an organization with a culture of innovation. Because if she does not have that culture of innovation, she will not risk trying to realise crazy ideas and she will find it extremely difficult to motivate her people to invest their time in her innovative projects. Indeed, without a culture of innovation, the innovative team leader will most likely leave the company for another one with a more receptive culture. In some cases, she might just run off and set up her own company – taking her team with her!
Lastly, it is worth noting that innovative leaders are people who have an expertise relevant to their innovative projects. When accountants or financial experts are put in charge of car companies, they are seldom innovative leaders. They understand the finances behind the products, but not the products. When engineers or car designers, on the other hand, are in charge of car companies, they have the knowledge and experience necessary to become innovative leaders for their companies. Of course that does not guarantee they will be innovative leaders! The vision and motivation are also critical.
Of course this holds both ways. No one would ever think of putting an automotive engineer in charge of a financial services business!
By Jeffrey Baumgartner
About the author
Jeffrey Baumgartner is the author of the book, The Way of the Innovation Master; the author/editor of Report 103, a popular newsletter on creativity and innovation in business. He is currently developing and running workshops around the world on Anticonventional Thinking, a new approach to achieving goals through creativity.
Photo: Young business person from Shutterstock.com
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Tags: communication, creativity, leadership, talent management