investigating innovation


Investigating the truth behind innovation

Currently, there is a lot of hype about that topic, but who knows exactly “The Truth Behind Innovation”?

Sometimes academic research is too abstract and people struggle to translate the theories into concrete actions in their daily work environment. At the same time, the web is full of materials and suggestions but it’s difficult to distinguish between reliable and unreliable sources, and information overload is often inevitable.

That is why the Future of Leadership Initiative (FLI), with the support of corporate and academic partners, gathers insights from thought leaders around the world and transforms them into applicable tools that leadership can use to enhance organizational performance through innovation. Indeed, the Future of Leadership Initiative investigates each year on another key enabler of successful digital transformation, this year being innovation.

The research team

Behind the scene, there is always an FLI team supported by partners. More precisely, the Munich Leadership Institute coordinates a group of passionate fellows drafting and conducting the research.

The FLI team 2017 is comprised of employees from Munich Leadership Institute and students of the Center for Digital Technology and Management which have interdisciplinary study backgrounds and a limitless curiosity for business, technology, and leadership.

The journey starts with listening to people who know what true innovation means- so after researching best practices, hidden champions, promising startups, and innovation leaders, they identified Thought Leaders they’d like to interview.

At the same time, the team defined a guideline for the interviews, with four main points of discussion. They identified Thought Leaders they’d like to interview.

  1. Meaning of innovation – seeking an across-the-board working definition for the concept.
  2. The root cause of innovation – collecting all the causes that drive the innovation process in the organization and society.
  3. Conditions that create innovation – articulating the framework conditions that foster the creation of solutions, new ideas, and products.
  4. The role of Leadership in the context of innovation – defining what makes a leader an innovation enabler instead of an innovation destroyer.

The team will overall conduct 25-30 interviews for developing qualitative research.

The aim is to find recurrent patterns in the first-hand experience of leaders from different fields. Indeed, the list of Thought Leaders includes not only business and academic personalities but also artists, cooks, journalists, movie makers…

cross-disciplinary perspective is a must in order to get a comprehensive overview of the topic and reflects the fact that no single discipline deals with all aspects of innovation.

The 2017 research will underline the common factors that are recognized essential for a leader who wants to foster innovation. At the same time, we will take care to highlight the peculiarity and personal recipes of our interviewees.

The study has already started but it’s an ongoing process that finally ends with the Future of Leadership Conference in March 2018, during which the final results will be presented in front of 200 selected business leaders and students.

In the meanwhile, we will keep you updated publishing insights from our interviews, our first-hand experience along with other contributions coming directly from the pens of the research team.

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