How Leaders Can Foster Innovation in Times of Crisis

April 14, 2020



The leaders that emerge in today’s crisis will help innovate to solve the problems of tomorrow.

In times of uncertainty and turmoil, leadership matters even more because the leader sets the tone for how an organization responds. Businesses need to be guided with a steady and reassuring hand, and yet pivot and be agile when the situation demands it. Grit, persistence and collectiveness are some of the traits of an innovative culture, and they are needed to face some of our biggest problems. As businesses face crisis on a global level, here are a few ways leaders can step up and help to foster an innovative culture when it’s needed most.

Learnability is a must

Learning quickly is more important than ever in times of massive change. Leaders need to have not only a high IQ and EQ, they also need a high Learnability Quotient, or LQ. Today’s problems are so complex and multi-faceted that they require learning as fluid situations unfold. Leaders need to be role models by seeking out different experiences, unusual perspectives and by being open to fresh ideas, ever as they foster a culture of learning in their organizations.

Experimentation and communication

When we are in uncharted territory, leaders must also have an understanding of the technical skills required to effectively transform their business in times of change, such as how to suddenly shift to remote work. They should surround themselves with experts and take time to stay informed of the latest trends, challenges and opportunities facing their organization and how to communicate those needs quickly throughout the workforce.

Ability to adapt for the next crisis

Crisis and transformation does not create a once and done situation. Change is dynamic, so agility and continuous adaptation is essential. Feedback is important to informing what steps leaders should take. Leaders need to innovate, experiment and learn fast and support their teams to do the same. Tomorrow’s environment is just beginning.

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