Two weeks ago we kicked off our series on the ABC’s of Leadership for All Times. This is a set of research-backed guiding principles for leaders to elevate their capabilities now, when they face unique challenges caused by the pandemic and in the years to come. Last week, we dove into “Agility” and its importance in the leadership context. This week we will move into “Breakthrough Thinking” as a method for effective and innovative leadership.
I am joined by WLH team member, Loretta Cate, who will explain why breakthrough thinking is an essential quality for leaders who seek to catalyze change throughout their organizations. We explain that leaders must set bold ambitions, make difficult decisions, and mobilize resources at scale, particularly at times when transformational growth is needed in the face of wide-scale business challenges such as those posed by the pandemic. Despite how critical this skill is to effective leadership, there is a distinct lack of it in the business world today— recent research showed that despite the high importance that executives place on innovation, fewer than 25% said they were involved in setting innovation targets and budgets.
This problem is due in part to leaders placing an emphasis on near-term improvements, or what they consider “high certainty” efforts, and not enough on potential breakthroughs or forms of innovation that are “less certain.” Success hinges on the ability to craft value-added solutions, anticipate trends, and shape strategy in response to evolving and complex markets while maintaining a future-oriented perspective. Leaders with unique ways of thinking and the ability to approach problem-solving with creativity are the best poised to handle the unique challenges of the future.
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