Do IT leaders struggle with innovation because they're too analytical? A new study suggests that leading too much with one's head might have something to do with why many companies struggle with innovation.
A study by Oliver Wyman-Delta Organization & Leadership, in part, asked executives to define the leadership skills that were most critical to innovation.
The top three:
• Establishing clarity of purpose for their organization
• Cultivating an open and supportive environment
• Facilitating idea generation
The study defines these skills as encompassing leadership by the "head, heart and guts," It concludes that innovative companies need leaders who can function at all three levels-making decisions using information when it's available, but being open to new ideas and willing to take calculated risks when data is scarce. In general, respondents believed they were failing at innovation, and said their biggest obstacle was creating the right climate for it.
It's been drilled into most IT leaders that they can't provide enough metrics to show how technology contributes to the bottom line. IT decisions hinge on having enough data to prove that an investment is worthwhile, or that it doesn't cost too much (however much that is).
Managers, schooled to focus on efficiency, have become champions of business process improvement, and favor IT projects that support such improvements.
Therefore, IT leaders are stuck in a box-hostage to data, and without support or encouragement to take risks with technology.
Source: CIO, http://advice.cio.com
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