Lina M. Echeverría worked in science and technology for decades, doing research and leading teams of scientists. Her experience adds practical substance to her emphasis on humility, humanity and personal growth. Many of her ideas on leading innovation will be familiar, but her focus on science and her advocacy of a holistic understanding of your co-workers and team members are innovative. Echeverría’s examples from her decades at Corning, a leading manufacturer of glass and ceramics, prove useful. getAbstract recommends her singular viewpoint to leaders, innovators and managers who are responsible for spurring innovation.
The Leader’s Role in Innovation
Today’s corporations face turbulent times. Many giants of industry are troubled and the “life expectancy of a Standard & Poor’s company is about 12 years.” Your firm must adapt, and that requires innovation, however innovating in the future won’t resemble innovating in the past. In many cases, the 20th century’s breakthroughs captured the “easy stuff.” Work in a single field or a single noteworthy discovery could lead to big developments because many fields and technological paths were wide open. Contemporary innovations are more complex and must get to market at a faster pace. Because they synthesize multiple technologies or cross boundaries, they require “high-powered multidisciplinary teams.”
Successful innovation integrates two forces – “creativity and execution” – that are often at odds given the dynamic tension “between unleashing creative researchers and harnessing their work to actual products and revenues.” To develop an organizational culture that supports innovation, you must nurture creativity and unite diverse groups of people to establish ever-shifting constellations of talent. Your leadership challenges include drawing...