When you think of innovation what comes to mind? Artificial Intelligence? Machine Learning? Flying Cars? Space Flights to Mars? 5G?

What about leadership?  Where does that fall on your list?  

I’m guessing that if you are like most people, leadership probably doesn’t land on your list at all. After all, most people think of technology or business when discussing innovation, and yet, there is plenty of evidence that leadership desperately needs innovation.  If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you get what you’ve always got!

If you look at what we’re getting today, you can see plenty of evidence that there is a huge need for innovation in leadership.  Case in point, consider three indications that innovation in leadership is not just nice, but critical in today’s new economy. 

First, 68% of all individuals feel under-valued by leaders at work.  This is significant given that the number one reason people leave is they don’t feel valued (Kahn, 2010). Additionally, the Quit Rate is now 23% and growing (Gallup) – therefore, you could easily conclude that too many leaders are guilty of under-valuing their people.

Second, 72% of employees don’t think leaders care about their growth (Monster).  This is important since Millennials, who are soon to be 75% of the work force, won’t stay if they don’t believe leaders want to grow them.  Since 67% of them are looking to quit their jobs (Forbes), you might think leadership is not quite where it needs to be in growing people.

Finally, 85% of all employees across the globe experience high work disengagement and, according to Gallup, employee engagement is a direct reflection of supervisor engagement.  Frighteningly, only 35% of managers are engaged in their jobs at work! When this is true, employees are 59% less likely to be engaged (Gallup).  They “catch” their boss’s negative energy like it’s the coronavirus.

As you look at these evidences, you might conclude that business innovation is impossible if we don’t innovate leadership first. If organizations are going to survive today, they must have strong leaders to break them out of toxicity and take them into this newly emerging Human Economy where the rules of engagement have changed. 

This is the biggest reason why it was so significant that Dr. Steve Jeffs had the chance to bring his doctoral work around Interdependent Leadership, and his insight from ten years on the People Acuity psychometrics team to the 2020 World Innovation Congress in Mumbai. Steve was awarded the global Innovation Leadership Award and spoke about innovating leadership and its relationship to business innovation.  He taught that innovation follows synergy.  It feeds on it.  Innovation needs the energy that comes as leaders break through the toxic barriers that hold people back from multiplying their brilliance.

For a new idea to be implemented, change is inevitable and cannot thrive in the environment of toxicity. Innovation requires change and a shift out of negativity. This means that people must do things different.  They must think different and be different. Trying to innovate within a toxic organization provides limited, if any results at all.  This is one of the biggest reasons why leadership must innovate before the task of business innovation can be successful.

As Dr. Jeffs taught a standing-room-only crowd, if we want more innovation inside organizations then we need to Shift Up! leadership to be more interdependent.  Steve Jeffs and his team at People Acuity bring leadership innovation to guide leaders to think differently, interact differently and thereby shift human interactions to the next generation of experience and results.  Interdependent Leadership, the cutting-edge innovation in leadership, creates fertile soil for optimal innovation and results.

To learn more about Dr. Steve Jeffs’ presentation topic, of Innovating Leadership, download the eBook he co-authored on the subject, “Interdependent Leadership: A New Approach for a New Economy.” http://localhost/peopleacuity/download-il-ebook/ 

This article has been written by Lisa Gregory – Chief Product Officer of People Acuity and co-author of Shift Up! Strengths Strategies for Optimal Living – in collaboration with People Acuity co-thought leaders, DeAnna Murphy and Steve Jeffs. Lisa holds nearly 100 certifications and is an expert in instructional design, facilitation, and engineering client solutions. She has coached and trained organizations on five continents and makes learning relevant and applicable. Learn more about Interdependent Leadership and download the new Interdependent Leadership eBook – at www.peopleacuity.com.

Photo credit: https://www.marketingweek.com/the-death-of-innovation/