In the 3 Principles to a Lasting Corporate Legacy, a corporate legacy is defined as the lasting imprint left by a leader after his or her departure — is an extension of corporate culture, and it shapes attitudes and behavior among individual employees as well as on a broader, organization-wide scale. In the article, Tanner Corbridge focuses on the idea of principled leadership focused on changing organizational values. While a leader focused on changing organizational values can leave a lasting leadership, there is another factor related to imparting your legacy in an organization – innovation.

I am still amazed that many of the innovative processes I enacted remain in place today. Colleagues from organizations that I used to work for ten, fifteen, or twenty years ago tell me that operations or divisions I helped create or establish are still functioning today. I do not think I ever started to create products, processes, or procedures that would endure for years or decades. Most of what I implemented was in response to some organizational issue or need at the time. The challenges always seemed similar – no or limited resources, no personnel, no budget, and no time. But yet, something had to be accomplished to fulfill the mission of the organization.

To me, innovation always seemed to be a large part of the answer. You can’t attempt the same thing over and over again and expect different results. Well, you can – it just becomes frustrating. True innovation means moving people out of their comfort zones. Change is always hard. So too is convincing your boss and the staff who need to enact the change. Innovation is often met with skepticism and resistance. This disbelief can be countered with information and data, but honestly, the disbelief of others never goes away. Some people seem to wait until an idea is successfully implemented to support it fully.

Whether it was a new sales method, a new reporting schema, a job center, a technology portal, a customer service center, a new form of fundraising, or an online learning division, these ideas still are in use today at various organizations and institutions where I was once employed. I honestly expected these ideas to be replaced by newer and better ideas. I expected the leaders and managers who followed me to apply the same innovative spirit that I had used. This is why I find the enduring quality of the implemented innovations so satisfying. As you function as a leader and a manager you never really know the lasting impression you will leave upon an organization.

What innovations have you implemented? What lasting impression will you leave?

Are you ready for today’s strategic planning process? Is your organization prepared to develop a new strategic plan? Let’s have a conversation about how we can make strategic planning work for your organization. Connect with me.

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