Leadership

Wednesday Buzz: Understand What Innovation Really Means

By / Apr 30, 2014 (iStock/Thinkstock)

A management consultant shares why associations should learn about innovation before promoting themselves as experts. Also: an analysis of the integral roles managers play in employees’ work lives.

All associations want to create unique and innovative content to share with their audiences. However, consultant Meredith Low believes many organizations don’t even know where to begin, risking their reputations as credible, creative visionaries.

For some, innovation may mean slight adjustments. For others, it might involve implementing a new strategy to make and promote a message. Yet to truly create something new, Low says associations should have three things: resources at the ready, permission to fail during the creative process, and autonomy among teams.

“If you are saying you want to innovate, but aren’t doing these things, what’s wrong with this picture?” she writes. “Is the management and resource allocation wrong? Or is it that the stated aspiration to innovate is quite different from the actual aspiration?”

Hands-Off Can Hurt

Zappos doesn’t need managers, apparently. Do you? Gallup Business Journal compiled research that questions the online retailer’s recent change in the chain of command to something called a “holacracy.” The research firm found that managers are responsible for 70 percent of the variance in employee engagement—and recommended that instead of getting rid of managers altogether, more authority figures might be a better idea.

“Bridging from logistical concerns such as materials and equipment to professional development requires a manager’s support,” consultant Elizabeth Kampf explained in her blog post. “A team manager has the proximity, authority, and expertise about his or her employees to implement change in their immediate environment. While employees are responsible for voicing their opinions, the best companies hold managers accountable for listening and responding to those opinions and creating positive change.”

Other Good Reads

According to Velvet Chainsaw’s Jeff Hurt, there’s such a thing as being too efficient with content delivery during your education sessions.

“Growth doesn’t always beget growth”: In a guest post for Inc., leadership development expert Samuel Bacharach offers four tips to help innovation flourish, even as you’re growing.

Over at Cvent’s Event Planning blog, Donna Kastner considers how you can spruce up event sponsorships.

Alexis Williams

Alexis Williams is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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