"Once leadership shows it's OK to think outside the box and entertain different ideas in pursuit of innovation, then the rest of the organisation tends to support that," he said.
"At the end of the day, people like to do something a little bit different and they like to be progressive."
Gowans was one of the leading mining executives interviewed for the "Mining Journal Global Leadership Report: Preparing for transformation", released last week.
Arizona recently agreed to Australia-based South32's all cash offer of US$1.3 billion to acquire the remaining 83% of the company.
The transaction is expected to close in the September quarter.
In his interview, Gowans also commented on the common issue of human resources.
"When I started in the industry 40 years ago, it wasn't too difficult to talk engineers into going to the North Pole to build a mine," he said.
"Today, it's tough to get young engineers to go to Upper State New York."
This is based on an interview with Arizona Mining president and CEO James Gowans as part of the ‘Mining Journal Global Leadership Report: Preparing for transformation', released last week. The report features around 20 in-depth interviews with the industry's leading mining executives and the results of our industry-wide survey focused on transformational influences (technology, stakeholder engagement etc) and the readiness of mining leaders to meet these challenges.