Commonly the best way to initiate change is to enable leaders to pave the way forward. Mike Myatt is considered to be among the world’s top CEO coaches and today he tells IM more about his experiences working with real leaders who embrace change and innovation.

What is innovation management to you?

Firstly, innovation management is a term which indicates an enterprise has actually recognized that innovation is a legitimate initiative worthy of dedicated leadership and management resources. I point this out simply because successful innovation efforts rarely happen by osmosis. Innovation requires the same focus and discipline as any other legitimate initiative. Secondly, it means that a process and success metrics have been applied to innovation which insures the right projects get worked on for the right reasons and at the right times. While the aforementioned two realizations might seem like common sense to many readers, you’d be surprised how many companies still treat innovation as a part-time, unfunded, afterthought – sad, but true.

What’s the most satisfying part in your job?

I find most parts of what I do to be extremely satisfying. That said, my greatest satisfaction comes as a result of watching what was once a vision transform into a reality. This is particularly the case with innovation efforts. Because I work almost exclusively with CEOs, I have the benefit of being able to watch high impact innovation projects run full life-cycle. Seeing what was once a sketch on a whiteboard go to market and add significant value to all stakeholders is truly something I can’t get enough of.

And the most frustrating parts?

Real leaders don’t create weak dependent relationships, but they absolutely thrive on creating strong independent thinkers.

Dealing with those who knowingly or unknowingly limit their potential or the potential of others. Real leaders embrace change and innovation. They understand that a lack of innovative thinking is the precursor to a brand in decline. The simple truth is that real leaders don’t create weak dependent relationships, but they absolutely thrive on creating strong independent thinkers. Those who don’t understand the benefits of growing, learning, and innovating are doing little more than limiting opportunity. I have always believed that apathy is mediocrity’s weapon of choice.

What’s your next big challenge?

To continue making a difference by adding value to those leaders whom I have the opportunity to interact with. Every action has a ripple effect, and my hope is that my ripples become tsunamis when it comes to transforming how leaders view themselves and those they serve.

About Mike Myatt

Mike Myatt is a noted leadership expert, author of Leadership Matters – The CEO Survival Manual, and widely regarded as America’s Top CEO Coach.  As a thought leader and columnist on topics of leadership & innovation, his theories and practices have been taught at many of the nation’s top business schools, and his work has been noted in several publications including: Success, Psychology Today, The Washington Post, Entrepreneur, Chicago Sun Times, and others. He also authors the N2growth Blog which has been consistently recognized as one of the top leadership blogs on the Internet.