Leaders as the Drivers of Innovation: The Sport Leadership Ecosystem and Innovative Leadership

  • James Skinner
  • Aaron C. T. Smith
  • Steve Swanson


This chapter establishes the key aspects of leadership that can facilitate innovative cultures in the sport context. In the first section, the chapter discusses the meaning of leadership and culture, and emphasises their important connection with innovative outcomes. Next, the chapter introduces the sport leadership ecosystem and addresses how using this connective framework can enhance leadership capacity and facilitate innovative practice. An introduction to the intelligence panorama provides the tools for effectively activating the sport leadership ecosystem by developing leadership capacities which enable stronger connections and influence. Finally, the chapter explains the concept of innovative leadership, paying close attention to how leaders can best enable innovation within their respective environments. The chapter concludes that innovative leadership can be a decisive facilitator of creativity and innovation in sport enterprises. Leaders set the vision for competitive and sustainable pathways for success. Leadership skills can be learned and honed for the desired effect, and developing capacities for an innovative leadership approach can have a major influence on the successful delivery of innovative outcomes.


Leadership Ecosystem Creativity Capacity Framework 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • James Skinner
    • 1
  • Aaron C. T. Smith
    • 1
  • Steve Swanson
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Sport BusinessLoughborough University LondonLondonUK

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