By Cleo Spencer
SEATTLE – July 2, 2013
On June 10th, WIN Ignite Innovation Forum focused on how leadership and innovation meet. One of the guest igniters, Sharon Wong said, you can’t have one without the other. “Leadership to me is about enabling and empowering the teams of people who need to drive the innovations that you want to happen,” Sharon said. The best leaders of innovation create a safe space for innovation – creating while balancing risk taking with the prospect of failure – amongst your team.
Additionally, for a leader to create “innovativeness” in others requires innovation within oneself as well. Lara Feltin, another guest igniter, said, “A good leader requires constant self-improvement and evolution.” She spoke of how placing oneself in challenging and risky – often uncomfortable situations can result in the discovery of new skills, finding opportunities to innovate within your own leadership ability.
Lara also defined innovation as “a way of being.” She saw innovation as a lifestyle of embracing and promoting the change that is always bubbling up around us. Furthermore, she pointed out that leadership is not exclusive to those at the head of the table, but rather is a hat that anyone can put on when they take a stand on a change that should or could be made. Combine the two, and the most important lesson of innovative leadership for women in business is made clear: always be on the lookout for opportunities to step up and create change.
What is the change you stand on and have taken on?
Cleo Spencer is a student at Pomona College, California and interning with WIN for the summer.