Leading Innovation

Leading Innovation 

Innovation is now recognised as the single most important ingredient in any modern economy. —The Economist 

What Is Innovation? 

Necessary for growth: Innovation is a critical part of an organisation’s growth strategy. The Boston Consulting Group found that 90 percent of CEOs today are counting on organic growth through innovation. 

For all leaders in all functions: Innovation is creating new value where it did not exist before. It is the domain of all leaders in all functions, not just those in product development or marketing, and not just top executives. Leaders throughout an organisation need to determine how they deliver value and how they can significantly increase that value through innovation.

Both a result and a process: Some of the confusion about innovation arises because an innovation is the intended result of an innovating process. Leaders need to apply the process to achieve the result.

Not for the fainthearted: Much has been written about “breakthrough” versus “incremental” innovation. While it is true that small improvements can have a big impact, we have found that the most effective leaders look for ways of handling business challenges that create value and make a significant difference. In other words, they aim high. Forum’s point of view is that in the area of innovation, a leader’s actions need to be bold. “It is easier to build feasibility into an innovative idea than to build innovation into a feasible idea” (Johnston and Bate, The Power of Strategy Innovation).

More than creative thinking: Innovation is often equated with creative thinking, but in fact it is broader and more results focused. New and novel ideas are essential to innovation, but these ideas have to be targeted at key business issues and grounded in value. Creative thinking is one tool in the innovation process; it is not the whole story.

Leading Innovation 

Leading Innovation advances participants’ ability to foster innovation—in any function or unit of an organisation—in order to improve business performance. 

Key Content

Leading Innovation contains three main units: 

  • Define the Opportunity features the business case for innovation, the twelve dimensions of innovation, three ways to implement innovation, and a method for determining high-priority innovation initiatives. 
  • Create the Climate features seven factors that characterise an innovative climate, an assessment with feedback from direct reports, practices for creating a climate of innovation, and a four-step process for modeling innovative leadership. 
  • Lead Innovation Initiatives features the innovating process, with specific guidelines and tactics for sponsoring or leading an innovation initiative or project. 

Throughout the session, participants work on their real innovation challenges, explore best-practice examples from multiple industries, and flesh out their innovation strategy. They leave the session with a Leading Innovation Action Plan to take back and implement with their team. 

Target Audience

The audience for Leading Innovation is mid-level leaders. 


As a result of participating in Leading Innovation, leaders will be able to: 

  • Determine the opportunity for innovation in their business 
  • Create a climate that fosters innovation
  • Apply a management process to advance innovation initiatives 
  • Develop a plan to further embed innovation in their business units 

Leading Innovation is a 1-day classroom programme.

    Forum is a global professional services firm that mobilises people to embrace the critical strategies of their organisation and accelerate results. We help senior leaders with urgent strategic agendas equip their organisations to perform, change and grow. Our expertise is built on decades of original research; our business insight keeps companies out ahead of their markets, competitors and customers. Harvard Business Press published Forum’s latest book Strategic Speed in 2010. For more information, visit www.forum.com.  2012 The Forum Corporation