Tag Archives: entrepreneurship

What effective leaders do to lay the groundwork for innovation

effective leader1. They actively encourage entrepreneurship. Forward-looking companies continually reinvent their business models through experimentation and innovation. To let such a culture flourish, leaders have to be willing to share authority, challenge the status quo, encourage creativity and accept failure.

2. They set clear priorities. As important as entrepreneurship is, a leader ultimately has to lead. The person at the top frequently and sometimes uniquely enjoys an ideal vantage point for choosing between the short and the long term, and among markets and sectors. But no matter how clear their vision, leaders can’t manage innovation on their own. Companies need rigorous processes for assessing which ideas should move into development and which should not. Being able to say no is an essential driver of innovation productivity.

3. They strike a balance between efficiency and innovation. Some companies may be under pressure to cut costs and drive efficiencies, but the increasing pace of change means they also need to emphasise innovation. Resolving this contradiction requires the ability to both explore new avenues and fully leverage existing ones.

Combined with a healthy appetite for innovation, these leadership qualities have the potential to unleash a new wave of business creativity – and with it, perhaps, a new generation of global competitors.

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The Innovation Wave

 Dalian Convention centre

Innovation is rapidly moving up the agenda of CEOs throughout the global economy.

“Meeting the Innovation Imperative” is the key theme at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in the Chinese seaport city of Dalian.

With global competition fiercer than ever, leaders of countries and companies have no option but to employ an innovation-driven strategy: to harness technological, economic and social shifts and create an environment conducive to entrepreneurship and innovation.


Innovation, by definition, has the potential to ignite growth and boost performance. It is sought – and celebrated – here for good reason. In a recent BCG study of the world’s most innovative companies, 85 per cent of CEOs surveyed ranked innovation as a top priority. They understand, better than most people do, that in a world of rapid change, standing still means falling behind. The right idea, launched at the right time, can push a company far ahead of its peers.

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