Leading for Innovation

Creating a company culture and mindset focused on innovation begins with proper training and coaching from leaders within the organization. From top to bottom, from executives to newcomers, everyone must be included in training and coaching programs. When you develop, support, and educate your workforce, employee engagement soars and innovation becomes reoccurring and sustainable.



Often organizations will make a plan and assume that it will get them where they need to go. Leaders can and will promote the effort, but unless their people understand the process, the effort will fail. Make sure that project management basics are taught, applied and re-taught. It is also important that best practices get carried out; but in addition, they must be observed, measured, and refreshed in order to work towards industry “next” practices.

Innovation executives are often the facilitator of change, and the leaders responsible for the development of corporate innovation culture. These innovation leaders are accountable to assemble teams that will lead them to optimal ROI’s.

Glenn Llopis writes for Forbes.com and promotes the idea of leading through a lens of continuous survival, renewal and reinvention. “Innovation is not dependent on the participation of high-ranking executives — but on any employee that is a student of the business, knows their customers and their specific needs,” says Llopis. “An effective leader recognizes the importance of embracing differences in people and knows how to connect the dots amongst those differences to get the best outcomes from the team.”


To gauge your company’s training and coaching program, ask yourself:

  • Do you coach champions and project leaders?
  • Do you have standardized project management in place?
  • Do you constantly look for new ways to improve your products and processes – even those which are already successful?
  • Do you share best practices among teams?


Innovation training will yield a company that collaborates more efficiently, implements new ideas more rigorously, and thinks more creatively. Training and coaching is an incredible instrument to use with your coach and champions, and will ensure that your innovations don’t begin and end with the idea.

For a more in depth look at how to implement effective training and coaching within your company, *see “Robert’s Rules of Innovation: A 10-Step Program for Corporate Survival.”