Zenger Folkman Research Shows Innovation Not a High Priority For Leaders

- Zenger Folkman's new survey exposed how leaders ranked innovation as a low priority and struggled to be effective -

Oct 20, 2014, 16:12 ET from Zenger Folkman

SALT LAKE CITY, Oct. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- On any given day you can find a plethora of articles and blogs about innovation.  It is clear that we all admire the organizations and individuals who have the tenacity and wisdom to blaze new trails. However, Zenger Folkman's new study on innovation revealed that most leaders don't admire innovation as much as the rest of us.

"It is in our nature to create, to discover and to invent the next best product or process," said Joe Folkman, president of Zenger Folkman. "However, many organizations struggle to create an environment that encourages innovation. They become so locked in past processes that leaders don't dream of better ways to accomplish goals. Leaders need to understand the true value of an innovative workplace."

Recently, Zenger Folkman did a study with 700,000 participants to rank the importance of innovation among 15 other competencies.  Surprisingly, it was ranked number 13 out of the 16 in order of importance.  The top ranked competencies were: inspires and motivates others, displays high integrity, solve problems and analyze issues, drives for results, and communicates powerfully. Most of these top competencies focus on the immediate daily needs and not the long-term outcomes. Leaders become so focused on efficiently completing the small picture they forget that involving the bigger vision is what will make them truly successful.

"Next, we thought that perhaps leaders don't rank innovation very highly but they are still effective at it," said Jack Zenger, CEO of Zenger Folkman. "But it turns out the areas that we value the most are the ones we excel in." In a group of over 50,000 leaders, who took a 360-degree assessment to measure their effectiveness on the 16 competencies, innovation was in 10th place. Their self-assessment scores ranked them in 8th place, and their direct manager scores fell to 12th place.

Joe Folkman concluded, "If innovation is one of the most important issues for an organization, then more leaders need to focus on being more innovative. This requires a big shift in mindset that looking at improving the innovation will positively impact the day-to-day."

To learn more about innovation attend our webinar, What Makes Leaders Innovate? Learn The 10 Distinctive Behaviors, by registering at http://zengerfolkman.com/events/. For more information on these findings, and how to incorporate them into a leadership development plan, visit www.zengerfolkman.com

Zenger Folkman is the authority in strengths-based leadership development. Their award-winning programs employ research-based methods that improve organizations and turn good managers into extraordinary leaders.

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