Malasakit is a Filipino value we ought to practice in the workplace. Professionals who show malasakit care for your people and your business. Think about the admirable Filipino values. Practicing these values in the workplace is …
Empower leaders and build an army of intrapreneurs.
We need to grow creative leaders and build an army of intrapreneurs to change the world.
The world is fast changing. Those who play small, safe and same-same will fade and die. Those of us who care must do something radical now.
In the olden days, people believe that leaders are born not made. Either you have it or you don’t. So, they made slaves and kings and freemen who aren’t free at all.
Until now, many of us still doubt their ability to lead. This is why they allow others to make decisions for them.
Many of us depend on those who promise a new tomorrow.
The promise like “change is coming” attracts them. Politicians promise change because that’s what we all want.
Change always comes. We cannot prevent change. We cannot even delay it.
But we can define, design, and deliver the change we want.
We Are Born Leaders
Leadership isn’t a title or a position; it is a disposition.
If you can dream to change the world and pay for it with everything you have, you are a leader.
There is a seed of leadership in each of us. We can choose to germinate that seed and plant it in fertile soil where it gets enough sunlight and water.
We don’t have to wait for someone to promote us to leadership. We don’t have to wait for our organizations to build us. We can do it ourselves.
Of course, we ought to find that organization or community that will support us and make us thrive. Choose your company. Pick one that will make you grow and be too happy to stay.
I am saying this because every organization has a leadership development program.
Even those organizations that do not provide leadership training for employees. They develop leaders through everyday practice. And if the environment is unfavorable, it might become difficult for you to bear fruit.
I will talk more about leadership development in detail later.
My point is that you, the individual leader, can define for yourself the kind of change you want. You can grow your leadership. And you can put yourself in a position where you can thrive.
The World Needs Creative Leaders
In the olden days, people worry about how to divide the economic pie among themselves.
People discovered that they don’t have to wage war against each other over a single pie.
Thanks to innovation. We can bake more pies. We can multiply our pies a thousandfold, a million-fold — and our imagination is our only limit.
Leaders who create and innovate ensure the growth of organizations.
This is, of course, easier said than done.
Even leaders who speak of innovation aren’t necessarily creative.
One example is a manager I know. I heard that she delivered a 30-minute lecture on Design Thinking.
She told her direct reports to submit their proposed technological innovation.
I’ve been applying Designing Thinking and have trained many leaders in using the tools of DS. It was evident to me that she did not understand what DS is.
But I appreciate the fact it looks like she’s onto something worthwhile.
I was wrong.
She told her direct reports to submit the project plans (including the budget) the next day. She decided that professionals can make proposals based on what they already know. They have not taken the time to listen to customers.
She did not want to follow the process of innovation she has given during her 30-minute lecture. Worst, she has no plan to install any aside from her project. She was proud to show that she knows something about innovation. But that’s all to it.
This is a common problem among leaders who rely on their expertise.
Once they start to believe that they are experts, they begin to lose their sense of wonder. They forget how to judge what’s creative.
They believe that because they ” had been there and I’ve done that”, they already know the answers.
They think that opinions are answers to old unsolved problems.
They are not open to suggestions of others, most especially of young employees.
If you are a business owner, I encourage you to grow creative leaders and grow an army of intrapreneurs.
If you are a manager or supervisor, I want you to know that you can cultivate your creative confidence.
You can now google innovation and there will be thousands of tools you can get for free. You can also join online courses for less than 3000 pesos.
Or you can get someone like me to design and deliver innovation workshops for you.
No one can make an excuse of “being in a third world ” because we have access to information.
We have models too. Innovators like Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Tony Hsieh, and Larry Page have changed the world. Every day, I learn about young innovators who introduce new categories of products and services. They create new rules and we follow them.
How many of us imagined this world before the Internet era? Or the world before there was television? Or the world before there was radio?
Innovators Are Game-Changers
There was a time that only geniuses have the craziness to push for innovation. A time when people love same-same, safe, small and slow.
Innovators accelerated, multiplied, amplified, simplified, and magnified solutions.
Today, ordinary people can make innovation happen.
I challenge you to liberate your leaders so they become creators and innovators. Create opportunities for every employee to become intrapreneurs. (I am in search of stories of intrapreneurship in Filipino organizations. Please tell me if you know people who can help)
Inspire and equip your people to think bigger. Let them think outside the box. Free them from same-same mentality so they can play bigger.
Innovation is the spark that keeps organizations moving forward. To be the best in the market, it is not necessary to disrupt.
More important than disruption is innovation.
Innovation makes you play bigger. Innovation keeps you ahead. Innovation gives you the license to create new rules.
Create products, services, and experiences that our customers won’t be able to resist. Provide the greatest value to customers.
Innovate to find a new way of doing something. Create the greatest value for the least effort. We only need to explore various ways through innovation.
Innovate to increase revenues and serve more people. Innovate to be more visible and be ahead of what’s possible.
Creative leaders make change happen. They challenge the status quo, keep learning and exploring, and multiply value.
Support creative employees too. Let intrapreneurs thrive in your organization.
Apple has Steve Jobs. Tesla has Elon Musk. And Amazon has Jeff Bezos. How about you?
Build A Team of Innovators
It is easy to think that an individual innovator causes everything to change.
This is not true.
Innovators are always working with other innovators. Celebrity innovators are the faces of the organization. But those who made things happen are the people who work with them.
Leaders learn to innovate when they work with innovators. Creativity and innovation flourish in an environment that encourages leaders to grow and blossom.
I encourage you to champion creativity and innovation in teams. Germinate the seeds of intrapreneurship. Send all your employees to intrapreneurship workshops. Allow them to learn how to solve problems and create opportunities.
Bring a leadership speaker who can encourage leaders to breathe innovation.
Help leaders change the story of your organization.
Seek Innovation Partners
A learning experience designer may help you equip creative leaders and intrapreneurs. You will know, through simple exercises, how to embed innovation in your daily work.
Encourage the creator mindset. Turn your employees into innovators.
When you need to start this now, contact me and I will help you.
Promote Creative People
The next time you promote someone to leadership, find creative people. Make it your criterion number 1. Though you can “train” people to be creative, it takes time.
Find people who have creative habits. And if you cannot find them, get them from outside.
The world is changing fast. You will be left behind if you will keep on doing the same things again and again.
You need leaders who will be ahead of what’s possible. You need people who can think of products and services customers need but can’t find anywhere.
When you need more ideas on how to grow creative leaders, I have some more suggestions I can share with you. So reach out as soon as you can.
And I am pretty sure that you can also get help from successful social entrepreneurs. These people used innovation to find ways to change the world.
You ought to change the world too. This is our mission.