“What good is an idea if it remains an idea? Try. Experiment. Iterate. Fail. Try again. Change the World.” – Simon Sinek
A client and I were recently discussing his desire for his team to do more “thinking outside the box.” When I asked what that might look like in action, he said that the team would bring more innovative ideas to address the challenges their team and company were experiencing.
“Ah, innovation,” I thought. While many of the leaders we work with are focused on business innovation as an imperative, personal innovation is just as critical to growth and remaining competitive. Particularly with the exponential change and disruption that is the current reality.
Personal innovation is taking the principles of innovation and applying them to your personal and professional life, being proactive about change and growth to avoid experiencing disruption. My next question was, “How are you leading innovation?”
He blinked a few times as he considered my question. “Well, I always listen when they have a new idea.”
Me: “That’s good. Where have you been innovative in your life or business in the last year?”
Client (tone a little sheepish): “I’m not sure that I have been. I don’t seem to have a lot of time.”
Me: “Before innovation can occur, there are several essential pre-conditions that must be present to encourage it.”
Client: “Tell me more….”
Growth, competitive advantage, and sustainability require an environment where innovation can flourish. Without certain pre-conditions, it’s almost impossible for innovation, business or personal, to be anything other than random. Here’s what’s needed.
Imagine what’s possible by shaping the environment that allows innovation to flourish. Where do you need to be more innovative?
Teaming to Innovate – Amy C. Edmondson
Innovation to the Core – Peter Skarzynski and Rowan Givson
Positive Pace: Invite Innovation: Creating the Future
Positive Pace: Teaming: Teamwork on the Fly for Collective Leadership and Global Insight
About the Author: Cindy Jackson is a founding partner of the pLink Leadership. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband David and her furry family members.