Business leaders apply the concept of innovation to products or go-to-market strategies, yet innovation as a leader and as a people manager can be just as potent.

One example comes to mind: An accomplished, charming woman was given the title of general manager and charged with growing a stalled subsidiary by 30 to 40 percent during the course of one year. She took over leadership after the wholly owned subsidiary’s beloved CEO had retired and the large multinational owner chose her as his replacement.

The new GM wasn’t someone from the inside, and, resentful at the loss of their beloved leader, her team greeted her with either ambivalence or outright hostility.

Her struggle became getting people focused on the future and providing leadership, vision and partnership when people weren’t interested in any of those things. She began by addressing each stakeholder individually, appealing to each person’s style and personal investment in the future of the enterprise. By devoting her time and creativity to innovating and improving relationships, she helped her team achieve the desired results.

You don’t have to be a new manager to have trouble with employee accountability. It’s tempting to simply strong-arm the team into compliance, but that rarely achieves your goals. Instead, here are four innovative strategies that can transform your management approach.

1. Do less of what you tend to do. Counter to what your intuition may tell you, getting your team to be more productive may require you to be less hands-on.

2. Throw pitches the other person can hit. You can unlock new levels of performance by aligning your approach to the working style of the other person.

3. Break out of the pattern. Shake up your meeting schedule, the questions you tend to ask first and who speaks during meetings to get a new conversation going.

4. Offer a new and compelling future for the group. In creating buy-in and understanding, you’ll give the team only one way to move forward – together.

Changing your management approach can feel risky, but it’s an essential breakthrough if you want fresh results.

Are you using the same management techniques while expecting different outcomes?

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