The two most commonly cited qualities in a UK survey on key leadership behaviours are that council leaders should work on building innovative partnerships and be bold and ambitious.
The 10 innovation boosting behavioursThe report concludes political and managerial leaders in local government might boost innovation if they:
- Are clear, united and determined about the outcomes they want to achieve and their priority areas for innovation.
- Are bold and ambitious, while understanding residents’ concerns, learning from elsewhere, setting realistic objectives, and taking well-considered risks.
- Engage with key partners in an open way, evolving innovations together.
- Create an organisational culture that encourages creative approaches (particularly in the priority areas for innovation).
- Develop and empower other innovative leaders (eg. middle managers).
- Invest time, resources and effort into developing their innovation priorities.
- Convincingly communicate the reasons why their priority innovations are important (eg. engage in dialogue with their managers, employees, partners, residents and other key stakeholders).
- Genuinely listen to, and involve, relevant others in developing innovations (eg. managers, employees, residents, service users, partners, businesses).
- Track the development of their priority innovations (eg. using programme and project management, or more agile techniques, as appropriate).
- Persist for long enough to embed and scale up their priority innovations.