How can leadership encourage creative and innovative solutions from employees if management holds an 'old school' definition of responsibility as "Who is to blame?"

Owner-managed businesses
Conflict Prevention
Susan McNeal Velasquez
48 months ago

4 answers


The first point is a bit contradictory with the "old school" definition of responsibility as to encourage creative and innovative solutions you need to tolerate mistakes. Leadership need to be supportive, solicit and rewards idea and train the staff in innovative solutions if needed (these will not arise from nowhere). Brainstorming is important too. It is fundamental to create a company culture working in this way and breaking the "old school" resistances.

Paolo Beffagnotti
48 months ago
Thanks for your response, Paolo. Appreciate your thoughts! - Susan 48 months ago

The capacity to take responsibility, ideally should be the source of authority in management. Leadership is a relationship of responsibility between leaders and the led; employers and employees. Leadership is also used to describe people who have control over others whether de jure or defacto. In organizations where employees' are merely expected to take orders; the leader is a boss.

The mode of operation of true leaders differs from that of bosses. Inspiring fear, giving command, driving employees, using people and blaming them for breakdowns are the qualities of bosses. This approach actually is the old school.

True leaders encourages creative thinking, innovations and allow employees to add value to the organization. They ask for their ideas, generate enthusiasm, coach employees as a team, develops people and fixes the breakdowns from time to time.

Adeshola Kukoyi
48 months ago
""They ask for their ideas, generate enthusiasm, coach employees..." Discerning and succinct summation of executive leadership practices. Thank you! - Susan 48 months ago

Team leaders play an important role in bringing out the innovative and creative ideas from their sub ordinates. When the management holds an 'old school' definition of responsibility as "Who is to blame?", in such cases the team leader should support his team members. For this he does not need to hide their mistakes but he can counsel them and train them so that such incidents are eliminated or minimized in future. One to one approach is always good in such cases because shouting or blaming in front of all other team members have always proven to be negative and employees generally resign and move to other company for this reason. They should always be appreciated and rewarded for their good and innovative ideas or work.

Abhishek Raj
48 months ago
Abhishek, your understanding that the personal 1:1 approach highlights beautifully that respect and consideration are the 'secret ingredients' that fosters a climate of trust while acting as a change agent - Susan 48 months ago
Thanks Susan. - Abhishek 48 months ago

Great forum Susan. I can't help but stop and take the time to make a contribution. I love the correlation between response and ability ~ that's it in a nutshell. Along with delegation of authority there must be a defined span of control for which a given team member is responsible without which there can be no clarity and therefore the inability to focus on doing the right things right and producing the required results. Creating a healthy team environment takes a number very complex factors that attribute their efficacy to both the procedural aspects of the corporate mission as well as to the competency of a leader assigned to any given segment. In my view as a former chief executive and corporate leader I think that there are some definitive leader archetypes that reflect developmental deficits and therefore a predicable lack of personal awareness. These types range from "control at best, oppression at worst" to a "caring and conscious leader who inspires and motivates with heart". At the very bottom of the leadership pyramid is the predacious type, whose lack of awareness and unconscious behaviour emerges out of poorly negotiated socioemotional development, yielding a personality that is aggressive and likely to assume a command and control or authoritarian default leadership style.At the top is an embodied global leader who is secure and socially engaged, making the best of every situation. Trusted and loved by her followers she makes people her top priority. A rare combination of competency, ability to produce results as well as a socially engaged personality gives her the capacity to build corporate cultures founded on trust and common interest. Training for competency such that delegation without overarching management control is possible through great process and procedure is step one. From that launch pad true freedom of expression and creative thinking within a team is nurtured effortlessly as is the ability to response to any given exception to the rule of procedure and expected results. I use the female gender because few men are of this ilk.

Lloyd Tosoff
48 months ago
Thanks for taking the time to contribute, Lloyd. The spectrum of leadership competencies that you are highlighting deepens the conversation to address the core issues that rightly speaks to the level of consciousness that is crucial to a creative, innovative corporate climate vs. maintenance. I am familiar with your contributions to leading edge environments and am delighted to hear from you! - Susan 48 months ago

Have some input?