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Agile Innovation Leaders

May 13, 2024


Uloaku (Ula) Ojiaku is the Founder/ CEO of Mezahab Group Ltd (a UK-based consultancy focused on helping leaders in large organisations improve how they work to deliver value to their customers).     

 With over 20 years of professional experience, Ula has board-level experience and has worked in multiple countries, in a variety of technical, business and leadership roles across industries including Retail, Oil & Gas, Telecommunications, Financial Services, Government, Higher Education and Consulting.  

 Ula hosts the Agile Innovation Leaders podcast, which features conversations with thought-leaders and world-class practitioners on topics covering leadership, innovation, business, agility, and much more.  

She also currently serves a multinational retail organisation as an Enterprise Agility Strategist/ Coach.  


Uloaku (Ula) Ojiaku | LinkedIn


Can I tell you a story? Once, there was an emperor who loved new clothes so much that he fell for a trick. Two weavers promised him a suit invisible to anyone unworthy or incompetent. The emperor couldn't see the clothes, but he pretended he could, fearing he'd seem unfit for his position.

But here's the twist: His staff, too, pretended to see the magnificent fabric. They nodded, praised, and marvelled at the 'exquisite threads.' Why? Because they thought everyone else saw it! It took a child, honest and unafraid, to point out the truth: the emperor was wearing nothing at all!

Now, let's relate this to high-performing teams and leadership. Just like the emperor's staff, leaders sometimes surround themselves with people who tell them what they want to hear, not what they need to hear. It's comfortable, but it's a trap.

True strength lies in diversity of thought. Imagine a team where everyone nods in agreement—like the emperor's court. It's a room full of invisible clothes! High-performing teams thrive on respectful challenge, open dialogue, and honest feedback.

Unity doesn't mean sameness. It means uniting behind a common goal while valuing different viewpoints. It's about creating a culture where feedback is welcomed and acted upon, where every team member feels empowered to speak their truth.

So, I ask you, leaders and innovators: How do you encourage diversity of thought in your teams? How do you ensure you're not just hearing what you want, but what you need?

Share your experiences and strategies in the comments below. Let's engage in a dialogue about building teams that are not only high-performing but also deeply connected and honest. Thank you for watching, and let's continue to weave the fabric of our teams with threads of empowerment, psychological safety and diverse & honest insights.