By: Jill Mendoza As we prepare to embark upon the New Year we have been busy here at IDO aligning our team to a new IDO vision. The discussion has been mainly centered on our strategy and various action plans for how we can create value for our clients. But when you condense all that down, we are really talking about the creation of IDEAS….. In this process, we have learned the creation of new ideas not only takes vision, strategy and team work; it takes innovative leadership. In researching this quality of leadership, I realized we have actually witnessed it this past year in our IDO team. Our teams ability to embrace the concepts of innovative leadership has helped us create value, transform our organization and provide a path for future successes. Examples of IDO Innovation Innovation is defined as a process where an idea can be translated it into a valuable good, service or concept. For a design firm, this is not a new concept for it is how we make our living. But for any business to stay solvent, it needs to continue to meet client demands, find new ways to create value and most importantly provide solutions that prove to be a repeatable and cost effective while satisfying ongoing client needs. One, of many, examples of this at IDO recently was noted in our own Associates, Rhonda Wessel’s Blog. In her blog Rhonda describes how the IDO team took an idea and translated it to a valuable service that we hope can continue to be developed in 2015 to bring additional value and cost savings to our clients. Examples of IDO Innovative Leadership Innovative leaders must be able to take a vision and develop it into an actionable strategy. The question we all ask, especially in a small business environment; how do you maintain a visionary focus if all your time is centered and focused on your client’s needs? For us the answer was to change our thinking and our focus; to our vision (TO ADVANCE THE QULAITY OF MISSION CRITICAL INTERIOR ENVIRONMENTS). Additionally, this thinking needed to be infused within our organizational culture, continuously practiced and continuously developed. Everyone needed to be on board. While researching additional information regarding innovative leadership, I came across a great research project conducted by Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman for the Harvard Business Review. It is titled ‘Research: 10 Traits of Innovative Leaders’. According to the study (Zenger & Folkman 2014), the leaders analyzed seemed to display similar behaviors such as:
- Strategic vision.
- Customer focus.
- Reciprocal trust.
- Fearless customer loyalty.
- Faith in a communicative culture.
- Excel at setting stretch goals.
- Emphasize speed.
- Candid communication.
- Inspire and motivate.
After reading the Zenger & Folkman case study and reviewing these 10 traits, it became apparent that at varying levels, all of our IDO Associates embody these traits. This has allowed us to change our thinking, to work harder & smarter and find new ways to create value and innovative solutions for our clients and our business. Looking for a great IDEA? Come innovate with us as we say CHEERS to 2015!!