Leadership and Innovation As Means for Change


Research on change management pointed out how innovation is inherently associated with change and how leadership guides a team through periods of growth and development. We start by defining innovation as “a Mobius strip of culture, knowledge, imagination, resources, attitude, and habitat” through the words of Tina Seelig. Then we move to two related approaches: Lewin’s framework for change and Kotter’s Eight-Step Plan for Implementing Change. Both models provide a clear description and guidance on the process of change; in particular, they illustrate how people react when facing changes in their lives and suggest how to cope with these challenges.

Key Take-aways

  • Leadership and innovation are key drivers of change in organizations and society especially in the current fast-changing context
  • As creating a new vision to direct the change and strategies for achieving the vision, and empowering others are crucial drivers for innovation, leaders play a relevant role in planning and implementing strategies.
  • Innovation relies on different interdependent components, leaders can play on complementarities to improve creativity and unlock innovation and change. They can work on individual components as well as the organisational environment surrounding the individual, influencing the process by which imagination catalyzes the transformation of knowledge into ideas.


Dr. Cinzia Colapinto, Ph.D. in Business and Corporate Finance. (University of Milan, Italy), is Associate Professor in Strategy and Entrepreneurship at the Venice School of Management, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice (Italy). She is also affiliated with IPAG Business school  (France). Her research interests focus on Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Strategy. In particular, she is interested in the role played by digital technologies on business model transformations and on their impact on the achievement of sustainable development goals by SMEs.

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