Leading Change With Innovation In 2022

Given the current business environs, leaders need to factor in innovation and customise it for their respective organisations to be able to navigate change with agility and apt responsiveness

In today’s fast-paced world where evolution is a constant, the competitive business landscape makes it imperative to consider innovation as an indispensable component for enabling change and ensuring its effectiveness. Change is never easy and takes time which is where an innovative way to spin it often works well in mobilizing consensus and garnering overall acceptance. From people to processes, it all circles back to the leadership making way for creative ideas and then implementing it using strategic planning and decision-making.

Given the current business environs, leaders need to factor in innovation and customise it for their respective organisations to be able to navigate change with agility and apt responsiveness. But before one jumps to action innovative practices and business models to fast forward change, one needs clarity of purpose and vision on the envisaged impact the proposed change is expected to bring in. Therefore, the prism of innovation shall largely be determined by the purpose and intent of the change and there is no losing sight of this larger picture.

Work Culture as a Binding Glue

A majority of business innovation should be reserved for a workplace culture that acts as a binding glue in an organisation. The new normal has been all about organizations across sectors adapting to the changing needs of their employees in order to remain relevant and command a competitive edge. It should be considered as one of the key aspects that shall dominate the outlook for 2022, as well.

Organizations need to be ready to go that extra mile when it comes to supporting and enabling employees or creating memorable experiences for even consumers that make life easier in a challenging environment. Adopting a creative solution-oriented approach that demonstrates consistent fluidity by organisations and leadership while responding to daunting roadblocks and possible crises will be important in defining the future discourse of business.

Empower the Employees

Great leaders know the importance of empowering the employees through creating an environment of ownership, where the employees experience the freedom to exercise creative liberty. While making smart decisions is important, what takes the lead is incorporating an approach that empowers your teams. It forms a synergy between individual and organizational growth, which automatically leads to empowered employees feeling the essential element of organizational ownership.

A “People First” Approach

If there is anything that the pandemic has taught us in the last two years, it is the importance of creating and fostering a conducive environment for employees where growth is nurtured and diversity is respected and appreciated. Since employees are an organization’s most significant brand ambassadors, they deserve the benefit of flexible work, more empathy and above everything a happy space that is full of positive energy, engagement and recognition. Technology can be a big enabler in introducing disruptive processes and practices that can change the way employees work and communicate, adding higher levels of ease and convenience. Similarly, open-door policies, democratic practices of easy access to top management and a flat hierarchy coupled with a culture of listening are some undisputed measures that all future-ready organisations must adopt in order to stay ahead of the innovation curve. One must remember how purpose and people score high over the product as a priority in the longer run.

Engage with your consumer

In a world where consumers are as much psychological co-owners of your brand, it is important to woo them with creative disruptions that not only make life easier for them but keep them engaged. Innovation orientation in this area must not only be constrained to just products but must be expanded to include overall engagement and communication with the consumer too. In a world, where consumers are spoilt for choices, standing out with innovation that is also honest and transparent is a must. Consumer-focused innovation surely warrants deep research, telling insights and consistent interaction to be able to tap into the changing consumer psyche. The bottom line is to target consumers at the right time with the right offerings and messages that not only showcase an intent of innovation but bring innovation alive to the core.

Champion sustainability and community support with an innovative edge

Giving back to the planet is one unanimous consensus and realisation alike that most organisations across the globe seem to be coming to terms with and one can scale up concerted efforts in this area through innovative programmes and practices that can make a real difference. Similarly, community support and constant conversation need attention and this is where innovative ways of community support can set your brand aside, besides of course enabling you to garner some much-needed favourability.

To sum it all up in a nutshell, innovation cannot be retro-fitted into existing, outdated models or mindsets and given we try doing that, its purpose will often get

defeated. The real requirement is to evaluate the risks and rewards of the innovation that we propose and then navigate the complexities with careful consideration and sensitivity. After all the change we envision should be able to not just manifest one big outcome, but connect several great outcomes to create an everlasting impact.

*The author is Samir Modi, Managing Director, Modi Enterprises

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