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The Team Sport of Innovation

by | Jun 30, 2014 | Government Entities

iStock_000009345442Large_200_313Though often successful inventions come from the minds of individual inventors, innovation is a team sport, according to a new Harvard Business Review article by a team of researchers. They wanted to study exceptional leaders of innovation and found them across the globe and in different industries.

The study revealed that leaders had moved away from the conventional view of how leadership works, coming to realize that leading innovation cannot be about creating and selling a vision to people and then somehow inspiring them to execute it.

They concluded that for effective innovation leaders, the right question to ask is “How do I set the stage for what I want to have happen?” They found that there is a need to create a community that is willing and able to innovate. To build willingness, leaders must create communities that share a sense of purpose, values and rules of engagement.

Organizational willingness to innovate is important. Three capabilities are needed to allow it to flourish:
• Creative abrasion: an honest discourse and rigorous debate
• Creative agility: the ability for teams to pursue new ideas quickly and proactively with multiple experiments and adjust their plans and actions on the basis of the results and to repeat the cycle
• Creative resolution: the ability to make integrative decisions that combine disparate or opposing ideas to reach a conclusion

Creating a culture of innovation can work in the government sector, with the application of these capabilities.

To read the entire article, please visit

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