Canadian Lawyer InHouse

April/May 2020

Legal news and trends for Canadian in-house counsel and c-suite executives

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38 www.canadianlawyermag.com/inhouse FEATURES As automation continues to rewrite the future of work, Evette Cordy highlights four qualities all leaders must have if they want to keep up with the pace of change TO THRIVE in an increasingly complex and unpredictable new world, leaders will require the skills of the future. To lead growth agendas, what matters most is not leaders' intellectual intelli- gence or confidence in what they know, but how they deal with what they don't know. It's also about whether leaders are courageous and inspire their teams to seek creative ways of commercial- izing solutions. It is this innovation leadership that will give companies a competitive advantage in the face of continuous disruptive change. Innovation agendas often fail not because of a lack of process or tools, but because people lack the skills required for innovation leadership. Do your leaders have the necessary skills for the future? Here are four that will turbo-charge your organization's innovation efforts: The ability to handle ambiguity Ambiguity is around us. We don't know what we don't know, yet we like to know because it helps us to feel more comfortable and in Four innovation leadership skills to master control. Leaders' need for certainty can kill in- novation. It reduces their ability to let go of the known and make space for new, unknown in- sights and ideas. Imagine you're in a leadership team meeting and someone asks how the latest innovation project is going. All heads turn to the leader, waiting for their response. They don't know yet – it's too early; they haven't even defined the right problem to solve – yet they feel compelled to respond. Leaders need permission to say, "I don't know yet, but we're learning a lot." Leaders who can hold space for ambiguity and continue to inspire their teams in the face of increasing complexity are those most likely to create a pathway to breakthrough thinking. Sit with ambiguity and plan to 'not know' for a bit longer. A curious mindset Leaders should spend less time in the office and more time walking in their customers' shoes to view the world through their eyes and discov- er their hopes, fears and values – noticing what delights them and observing their irritations, frustrations and pain points. Leaders who curiously observe what cus- Leaders who can hold space for ambiguity and continue to inspire their teams in the face of increasing complexity are those most likely to create a pathway to breakthrough thinking 1 2

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