NEW YORK, May 9, 2017 -- The ability to innovate quickly, effectively and repeatedly is necessary for businesses to succeed in a complex and changing environment. Egon Zehnder, a global leader in executive search and leadership advisory services, and Paradox Strategies, an innovation consulting firm co-founded by Harvard Business School professor Linda Hill, have introduced the Innovation Quotient© (iQ). The iQ is a tool to help senior executives understand what is needed to enable innovation, analyze their teams’ starting points and prioritize actions to unleash innovation potential within their organizations – a business imperative in today’s highly competitive, continuously evolving landscape.
“Leaders of innovation must embrace and manage a number of paradoxes that have no ‘right answer’ and require constant adjustment,” said Hill, a professor of business administration. “Our partnership combines deep research on leading innovation with Egon Zehnder’s heritage of leadership assessment and development consulting across all sectors and types of organizations. The goal is to help senior executives and boards drive a strategy for embedding innovation into the organization, and for senior leaders and their teams to understand and ultimately master the art and practice of sustainable innovation.”
Paradox Strategies created the iQ methodology leveraging a decade of research on leading innovation, with support from Egon Zehnder. Its research revealed three attributes consistent in organizations that have been able to innovate consistently over time:
- Willingness to innovate: Nurturing a sense of community based on three key qualities –shared purpose, shared values and rules of engagement.
- Ability to innovate: Developing three critical capabilities including creative abrasion, creative agility and creative resolution.
- Leadership to innovate: Managing a series of paradoxes to create a context that enables the willingness and ability to innovate.
The iQ framework is based in the insight that leading innovation is fundamentally different from what many think of as “great leadership” – setting a vision and getting alignment. Instead, it is about creating a context within which the full potential of team members can be unleashed to help new and useful ideas emerge.
“Responsibility for innovation cannot be confined to one part of a business, or business cycle,” said Greig Schneider, Egon Zehnder Partner and board member. "The iQ helps organizations understand where opportunity for transformation lies across the entire business, so CEOs and senior leaders can take steps to unlock widespread innovation. The insights enable leaders to create organizations with the agility to adapt to rapidly changing market conditions, and to identify executives capable of delivering sustainable innovation.”
Using the iQ, Egon Zehnder and Paradox Strategies work with clients to deliver a diagnostic overview of a company’s current propensity for innovation. The proprietary survey, interviews with senior leaders and subsequent analysis reveal the current state of the organization’s innovation capacity and enable senior leaders to identify clear avenues for improvement to create immediate value.
Applying this model, a combined Egon Zehnder/Paradox team helped a global fast moving consumer goods organization focus on organic growth through innovation, including e-commerce leadership, data science, leveraging disruptive technology and conducting a breakthrough product development capability. The outcome was a shift from a culture where new ideas were often stifled to one of continuous experimentation and co-creation, across the organization and with key partners. In addition, the organization was able to identify 19 individuals capable of leading innovation within the business, and initiated a search to bring in new talent for newly defined roles in e-commerce and foodservice.
Learn more about the Innovation Quotient.
About Egon Zehnder
Since 1964, Egon Zehnder has been at the forefront of defining great leadership in the face of changing economic conditions, emerging opportunities and evolving business goals. With more than 600 consultants in 64 offices and 36 countries around the globe, we work closely with public and private corporations, family-owned enterprises and nonprofit and government agencies to provide board advisory services, CEO and leadership succession planning, executive search and assessment, and leadership development. For more information visit www.egonzehnder.com and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.
About Paradox Strategies
Paradox Strategies is a boutique consulting firm focused on helping leaders unlock innovation within their organizations. Founding Partners Linda Hill, Greg Brandeau, Emily Truelove, Jen Stine, and Partner Sunand Menon leverage decades of cutting-edge thought leadership and innovation-led operating experience to work with the C-suite, boards and senior executives of large organizations to assess their innovation potential and guide them in developing the capabilities necessary for sparking sustained innovation. For more information visit www.paradoxstrategies.com.
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