5 Things Leaders Do That Stifle Innovation
To be a serious competitor in the international market, companies must hire emotionally intelligent leaders who have the foresight to look ahead and develop strategies that will help them collaborate with their teams and adapt quickly to change. But it’s far more crucial for managers to focus on what we call “derailers” when selecting and coaching their teams.
Derailers are the characteristics that impede innovation. They result from unhealthy coping mechanisms that many of us develop in childhood and fail to shed as adults. They tend to fly under the radar because our fear of failure often spurs us to avoid confronting them. But if we don’t do the work to identify what our derailers are, they chip away at our effectiveness over time.
The most detrimental, and common, derailers we identified are:
Unconscious neglect: a tendency toward carelessness and impulsivity, such as sending work before it’s ready or rushing to send responses that come across as uncaring.
Overprotectiveness: reserving your best work and being reluctant to share achievements for fear that your ideas will be stolen.
Overconfidence: leaning on your ego and willpower rather than asking for help, even when you need it.
Overexertion: pushing yourself beyond reasonable limits.
Devaluation: taking success for granted and under-appreciating relationships and resources out of an urge to pursue “the next new thing.”
There are ways, however, you can mitigate derailers to foster innovation and entrepreneurial mindsets among your team members.
Derailer: Unconscious neglect > Solution: Align projects with company goals, and hold people accountable for them.
Derailer: Overprotectiveness >Solution: Encourage mentorship.
Derailer: Overconfidence > Solution: Hope for the best, but prepare employees for the worst.
Derailer: Overexertion > Solution: Make sure team members take time to recharge.
Derailer: Devaluation > Solution: Teach your employees to create and work within an agile environment.
To read the full HBR article, please click here.