The People Leader Imperative: Innovating people leadership

The rapid and frequent changing dynamics affecting teams demands innovation. It also demands people leaders more actively facilitate innovation on their teams.

In this episode, we talk with Robyn Bolton, Chief Navigator of innovation consultancy, MileZero, about how people leaders can create the synergies on their teams to innovate focused ideas that will move a business forward, while setting in place the structures to move ideas forward.

In our conversation, Robyn shares the following insights:

  • Leadership matters more today in part due to innovation and evolving dynamics
    “Leadership has always mattered, it matters more now than ever because change is happening so fast, and things are so uncertain and work requires so much interaction. And so, leadership is no longer managing and making things happen. It’s very much about truly leading people and setting a vision and encouraging people to follow you.”
  • Unlocking productive innovation starts with defining the problem clearly for your team
    “If there is a problem that needs to be solved, frame it and give people somewhere to focus their attention. A lot of leaders worry: am I shutting down creativity. No, you’re not. Creativity thrives within constraints.”
  • Listening and critical thinking will fuel innovation on your team
    “When you see a leader actually listening to someone, it changes the whole mood on the team, the whole atmosphere. The other thing is leading with questions, genuine questions, and then listen to the answer so you can engage in a conversation about ideas.”
  • Leverage the human-ness of your teams to innovate ideas
    “Humans are messy and we can’t eliminate the mess. So how do we work with it? How can we take the things that make us human, our emotions, our perceptions, our intuition, and instead of being scared and trying to minimize them, how can we actually turn them into tools and data that help us work better?”

Connect with Robyn on LinkedIn: Learn how Robyn can help you and your team innovate at

Meet Robyn M. Bolton

Robyn M. Bolton is the Founder and Chief Navigator of MileZero, a consultancy that works with leaders of medium to large enterprises to use innovation to consistently and confidently grow their revenue. Her clients include Nike, Medtronic, Warner Bros Discovery, Curriculum Associates, and Motif Food Works. Previously, she was a Partner at Innosight, the consulting firm founded by Clayton Christensen, and also worked at the Boston Consulting Group and as a Brand Manager at P&G where she helped launch Swiffer and Swiffer WetJet. Visit for more information.

About TILTCO TILTCO is a boutique consulting company that helps leaders define and execute their strategies in order to achieve extraordinary business and personal results. Founded by Tineke Keesmaat, she brings her more than 20 years of leadership consulting experience rooted at McKinsey & Company and Accenture to supports today’s leaders achieve exceptional results.