Innovation Future Specialist

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Ted's Guide to Management, Leadership and Innovation

Teddy bear reading a book Hello, my name is Ted. I am a cuddly character, with a simple attitude to life, and well read. I tell it like it is, in simple plain language. So you will not need your encyclopedia of jargon: "Jar be gone".

Instead of lolling around in the bedroom all day I decided to write a few short guides to business and other stuff.

This is one of my guides ...

Ship with leadership and management

People often get confused when asked: what is the difference between management and leadership? The following makes it clear what the required skills are for management and for leadership, and what the differences are.


Without change, and given the presence of established comprehensive processes and well trained experienced staff... there is no need for managers!

There, that should rattle a few MBA cages; but technically the above quote is correct. If nothing ever changes and the processes tell workers exactly what to do for every step in the organisation then workers would know everything they need to do, without the need for a manager. Note that the processes would have to be comprehensive and address every function usually performed by a manager. To date, no organisation has processes this good, because they rely on managers. [That last point might make sense to those studying on the effective innovation training course for managers.]

In reality, however, there is always change: changes outside an organisation, or business, and changes within the organisation. For example: the needs of clients change; technologies change; people leave an organisation, or change roles; and new people join an organisation. In addition, unforeseen events and challenges may arise from time to time. So, relax managers your jobs are safe [for now].

Here are the skills and attributes of a typical (good) manager:

» A designated position of authority, and a position in an organisational hierarchy diagram.

» Responsibility for managing a team of people [although some "managers" strangely have no team].

» The willingness and ability to support, and inspire, the team.

» Gaining respect from colleagues and others.

» The ability to organise, establish processes (or procedures), set objectives, develop plans, delegate tasks, monitor team performance, evaluate, and make improvements.

» Good communication skills within the team, and with others outside the team.

» A reasonable level of intelligence and problem solving skills.

» Relevant knowledge, understanding and experience are useful, but so is...

» Consulting expertise within the team.

» Personal research capabilities, or a reliance on colleagues to conduct relevant research.

» An ability to make decisions and to manage risks.

The above list leaves out leadership skills.

Many managers also work longer hours than others, though this could be because of: poor organisational and time management skills; poor delegation skills; meeting expectations; anxiety about their performance; too much responsibility and/or work-load; etc. This should be avoided by developing the required skills, and working smarter.

Note: Going back to the above quote, hopefully you can see that traditional management is mainly about developing processes (or procedures), managing people, and ... managing change (or "Change Management"). A good manager, with the above skills, should already understand change management.


Without a need for change, there is no need for leaders!

In reality, however, there is always change: the needs of clients change; technologies change; regulations change; and unforeseen events and challenges arise. A leader is a driver of change, and responds to (external) change. Leaders are often managers (or chiefs), although this need not be the case. Clearly, a leader that is a manager should have the above management skills in addition to the following leadership skills and attributes:

» A leader will be well informed. This includes being aware of what is happening within the organisation, or business, and what is happening within their sector.

» They consult colleagues.

» They pay attention to the future especially given the accelerating pace of technological progress. A leader will be aware of short- and medium-term future developments within their sector, and any other sector that might have a significant impact on their business (or organisation). This knowledge will allow them to make well informed decisions, and to develop a valid vision for their business.

» A leader has an ability to set a vision for the business, or at least contribute to one with the assistance of colleagues.

» Leadership requires bold decisions and courage (inspired by good information, and balanced by risk management).

» In conjunction with colleagues, a leader will be able to develop policies and a strategy.

» An ability to inspire people. This does not mean just making an inspirational speech or presentation; it means having a sustained commitment to, and a genuine belief in, the vision!

» Putting in place appropriate support.

People that are not in management might have some of the skills and qualities of leadership, and they might evolve into a leader within their team, or across the organisation.


You can find out now, in just 2 to 20 minutes, what innovation is on the free course below:

What is Innovation?

In the 21st century a leader will know what innovation is, and understand its benefits. A leader will know why a business must innovate.


The world is always changing and just to keep up, your business needs to keep improving. To excel and become a leader you need to innovate; and the Innovation Future Specialist provides the best options for learning how to do this.


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