For years, I opened my CEO workshops by asking participants this question:
“Are you an innovative leader helping your company remain competitive in a fast-changing business environment?” Invariably, every hand would go up. But when I asked them to share some examples of successful innovations or product improvements they’d introduced, they were stumped.
Eventually, I realized that executives want to be perceived as innovators, but, in reality, they don’t understand how to be innovators. Consequently, their performance often falls far short of their management ideals. I don’t fault these leaders—–their hearts and intentions are in the right place—–but when it comes to making innovation happen, they typically flounder.