I have seen the words innovationleadership, and design used frequently in articles recently about how to help people and organizations innovateget to nextcreate the future, or become more competitive. Many more articles have been written that discuss the specific toolsmethodsprocesses, or frameworks that should be used to help you create change.

See both sides

It can be a daunting task to figure out the next steps to take when you have a bright idea or the urge to make an impact. Taking a step back, what is really happening when you are creating change? At a fundamental level, you are making connections. Making new connections is fundamental to progress. Being able to bring disparate elements together to create value is a core skill in most professions. So is being able to see both sides of a problem.

The connections that are made between people is what drives organizations forward. Strong bonds and weak bonds exist between people, places, and things just as they do between atoms and molecules, respectively, in chemistry.

Role of the leader

Understanding the specific nature of these bonds between individuals or groups of people can make you a very effective leader—but you have to be able to perceive the bonds first. The role of the leader, then, is to shepherd people. A nudge here, a push there, the right word at the right time can make all the difference in the world.

Leaders need to see the connections between people, places, and things–even if they may be at first invisible to them. Seeing these connections can open doors and create opportunities for experimentation and development.

If you are passionate about driving change and stepping outside your boundaries to make things happen, then strive first to make connections between people or resources that would benefit from the introduction. This interaction may result in the creation of a new source of value and put you in the position to create future impact.

Scott Jancy is a consultant and blogger at http://www.scottjancy.com/. He helps leaders and organizations ignite growth and stay competitive. Looking at the big picture, he can connect the dots and enable people to anticipate what’s coming next. Scott is passionate about the role that design and leadership can play in creating change.