Being an outstanding leader is about more than just knowing your industry, your resources, your employees and your customers. To embark on a path of constant growth and innovation, it is important that contact center leaders know themselves. No one understands the importance of learning and naming your personal attributes and style of innovation more than Tamara Ghandour, former brand strategist and innovator for Fortune 500 companies and founder of Launch Street and the Innovation Quotient Edge Assessment. In order to better define and harness our individual innovative potential, she uses the following nine categories to describe different innate types of innovation leaders. Hence here are nine innovation styles for contact center leaders.
The collaborative leader is one whose strength comes from his or her ability to make connections with others and weave together the many ideas and connections that come as a result of this kind of networking. The main thing that drives collaborative innovation is the idea that two heads are better than one. Collaborative leaders have the confidence to ask for the expertise of others when their own is less than perfect, and delight in seeing where new perspectives take their projects and ideas.
2. Experimental Innovation Styles for Contact Center Leaders
Most people like to experiment, and in order to grow in the business world experimentation is often necessary in order to create more efficient and effective products and services. However, some people are born with a true talent for experimentation, one that drives them to try new things even in the face of obstacles and when others tell them it simply cannot be done. Experimenters revel in the excitement that comes with exploring new places, ideas and strategies.
3. Fluid in Innovation Styles for Contact Center Leaders
The strength of the fluid leader is in his or her ability to clarify misunderstanding and constantly readjust their personal lens in order to access the full potential of the environment at hand. As the name might imply, fluids are flexible and always in motion, taking what comes as it is and adjusting to new situations with a calm and energetic spirit.
We hear a lot about the importance of living in the moment, but for some leaders and innovators, the present is simply not thrilling enough for their creative and future-oriented minds. Futuristic leaders are most concerned with what is on the horizon—what plans have been made, what projects are ahead, what new needs can be anticipated and met in advance. Futuristic leaders are natural innovators because they are always concerned with what comes next, and tend to stay one step ahead of the competition at all times.
Imagination gets a bad rap. For many, it can seem far less important in the world of business than in the world of art or science. However, imagination, if harnessed for the purpose of innovation instead of idle daydreaming. One of the most powerful tools an innovator can use, and for some this talent comes naturally. These people are called imaginatives, and their strength comes from their ability to turn the complex ideas in their heads into real life things that push the staple.
Some people think that they know it all. Others, like inquisitive leaders, never seem to get enough knowledge, and are always on an active quest for more. This is what motivates this type of leader to innovate. A simple drive to know the answer to the question “what if?”. This is an extremely helpful style for leaders in any industry. It inspires humility and the desire to get to the bottom of problems before making judgements. This is a key skill in the process of leading with empathy.
All of us have a natural instinct for creativity and innovation. For some, tapping into this power is as simple as turning on a light switch, and these people can be called instinctuals. The greatest strength of an instinctual leader is the ability to follow one’s gut to new and interesting places. Instinctuals never overthink problems—they just start moving and get it done.
8. Risk Taker
Let’s face it: taking risks can be a lot of fun. For many of us, it takes a lot of energy and preparation in order to get ready to take a big risk. However, for those leaders who fall into the category of risk taker. Ignoring danger and forging ahead has become a lifestyle, even an art. Risk takers are always on the lookout for new possibilities. Even where others see too much of a danger of failure. This is the niche of risk takers, and the reason that they are able to succeed.
Innovators who identify as tweakers are those who love to constantly tweak and change their plans, ideas and models. Slow but steady adjustment and recalibration eventually end in wholly new and innovative creations that are guaranteed to be successful because they have been tried and tested again and again.
The only question left is, which of these nine innovation styles for contact center leaders best defines you?