Developing-Leaders-issue - 23- Spring - 2016

Viewpoint 16 | Developing Leaders Issue 23: 2016 Make the Middle a Hotbed of Innovation Without investing in the middle, innovation will not move through the organization. Ideas will not be connected to other ideas. People will not be connected to others who hold a piece of the puzzle they are trying to solve. Innovation – whether game-changing new products, processes, or markets or small-scale, but valuable solutions – will not take hold. In contrast, when organizations understand the unique role leaders in the middle play, they can begin to un-stick innovation. By developing middle managers innovation skillsets, toolsets, and mindsets, potential innovators and their ideas will get the necessary attention and energy, and guidance to be transformed into innovations that add value. The middle of the organization will be transformed from a graveyard of ideas into a hotbed of innovation. David Magellan Horth is a Senior Fellow, senior designer and subject matter expert on creativity and innovation at the Center for Creative Leadership. He is co-author of many articles on the confluence of innovation and leadership and co-author of the book: “The Leader’s Edge: Six Creative Competencies for Navigating Complex Challenges” (2002). David is co-author of the Leadership Explorer™ series of tools, including Visual Explorer™ and Leadership Metaphor Explorer™. He is former Chairman of The Creative Education Foundation. Jonathan Vehar is a senior faculty member, subject matter expert on creative thinking, creativity and innovation, and portfolio manager for both innovation and blended learning solutions at the Center for Creative Leadership. He is the co-author of many articles and training sources on creativity and innovation, as well as the book, “More Lightning, Less Thunder: How to Energize Innovation Teams.” He is a cofounder and former president of New & Improved, LLC, and the former director of training and consulting at the Creative Education Foundation. CLARIFY IDEATE DEVELOP IMPLEMENT Without investing in the middle, innovation will not move through the organization. Ideas will not be connected to other ideas

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