Many of my executive coaching and team development conversations lately have revolved around how leaders influence their organization to drive successful growth cultures. A common theme has revolved around influential leadership. So much so that we at Arnao Anderson & Associates are moving away from the term change agents, to what seems more fitting – Influence Agents.


As we stand on the cusp of a new era marked by unprecedented organizational shifts, it’s imperative to recognize the essential role that visionary leaders play in steering their organizations toward success. At their best, successful leaders are influencing change, adapting to new realities, and building growth cultures that enable both their teams and their organizations to embrace innovation and change to thrive.


In today’s rapidly evolving landscape, leadership extends far beyond traditional decision-making roles. As organizations grapple with ongoing challenges, leaders must address a range of issues, including talent shortages, cultural gaps, technological disruptions, and fierce competition. They must become Influence Agents. Many any of our clients have realized that driving transformation requires not only a strategic vision but also the ability to inspire and guide their teams toward embracing new directions.


The global pandemic acted as a crucible for organizations, compelling them to adapt or perish. While we’ve moved beyond the height of the COVID crisis, its lessons remain relevant. Businesses gained insights into their strengths and vulnerabilities, prompting them to innovate and pivot swiftly. The crisis underscored the significance of anticipating change, building agile strategies, and fostering a growth mindset. The best organizations had influential leaders understood their assignments.


According to a 2023 published by BCG (Boston Consulting Group), successful innovation leaders incorporate the following drivers that separate them from organizations that are falling behind:

  • Empowered management
  • A culture that values and rewards innovation
  • Focused teams
  • Recognition of growth and expertise over tenure
  • Ecosystem integration
  • Entrepreneurial culture
  • Next-generation technology
  • Innovation metrics
  • Meeting employees’ intrinsic needs
  • Collaboration and knowledge sharing
  • Willingness to take risks


Two Questions

  1. Reflecting the way competition is evolving, innovation is now a top priority for close to 80% of the companies we surveyed. Despite economic headwinds, CEOs are focusing their spending on growth, balancing achieving strong short-term results with building advantages that will boost future performance. A small group is succeeding through innovation, focusing on key areas of future readiness. How are you preparing your leaders to focus on the big rocks?
  2. Successful innovation leaders build their innovation muscle within operations and the operational value chain, customer experience, and organizational culture? How is your organization building its innovation muscle?


I’d love to hear your answers to these two questions. Please feel free to send me a quick note at to share!