How Coaching Leads to Sustainable Innovation


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Successful and sustainable Innovation cannot be achieved without proper training and coaching from the leaders of an organization. Employees should be given the basic tools in the form of knowledge in order to create and improve their skill set. Any business can be optimized with the right Innovation coach to motivate and mediate employees. The ideal coach possesses a superior skill set and experience, a deep understanding of the innovation program’s goals, and they must be self-disciplined and a great communicator in order to reach all members of an organization in both group and one-on-one settings. Complementing and supporting the CEO or Chief Innovation Officer. When all the criteria are met, the ideal innovation coach develops employees into future leaders – and that is what sustains Innovation.

The most important job of the innovation coach is to create a holistic innovative environment, of “total” innovation and a sense of curiosity and open-mindedness among employees. It is their duty to motivate and to create an atmosphere of camaraderie where ideas are welcome. By giving employees just the right amount of support and motivation, an innovation coach can push the team towards their maximum performance.

Think about the amount of time throughout the workday that employees spend on their day to day duties versus how much time they spend on brainstorming new concepts and perspectives. When a team member does think of a new idea, do they follow through, or is it lost in the shuffle? That is why choosing the ideal coach is so important as part of the new product development process. An Innovation coach can implement structured repeatable processes that a team needs to sustain innovation, as well as provide feedback and support to all members of the team. In order to accomplish that, here are some coaching tips.

Share the joy. As well as the frustrations – communicate what is working and not working with your team.

Newbies count. Ensure that newcomers to the team, as well as new managers, are included in all training/coaching programs. Keep everyone on the same page.

The one-on-one touch. Individual coaching provides the privacy and attention that breeds success. Generally, discussions about areas of improvement are much better received when done privately and away from the ears of co-workers. These private coaching sessions can be invaluable in developing future team leaders.

Choosing the right leader is critical for your organization, and will result in a pattern of sustainable Innovation. For more Tips, see Robert’s Rules of InnovationTM by Robert F. Brands with Martin J. Kleinman, published in March 2010 by Wiley.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Robert Brands
Innovation Coach and Author of "Robert's Rules of Innovation" Past CEO of Airspray the manufacturer that brought instant foaming dispensers like hand soap to market


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