Category Archives: Creativity

Innovation Requires Great Leadership

Crater Lake Mirror

Image by Powderruns via Flickr

Innovation is an inherent gamble for any company and it requires great leadership. A great leader knows their industry and recognizes opportunities to explore new options and innovations for their business. Innovation is always a risk. A major overhaul of a product may be a disastrous failure. Failure is an important piece of success that seems to have been forgotten in our relentless drive for perfection however. All of the greatest thinkers of our time and times past knew that they would only make progress and achieve success through hundreds, even thousands, of trials that ended in failure. It would be great to be successful the first time out in a new venture but true growth happens through success and failure together. We learn a lot through our failures. Robert Brands knows this and writes about the subject more below. 

Innovation is impossible to achieve without taking a necessary amount of risk. In a world where the success rate of new product entries in the grocery business is 1 in 100, it is inevitable that every success sees failures along the way. An effective innovation leader should encourage creativity and risk taking, while also practicing a tolerance for failure.

In order to foster initiative and innovation, ask yourself these questions.

  • Do you allow free research and development (R&D) time?
  • Do you invest in innovation: money, people, resources?
  • Do you celebrate failure and risk taking?

In a tough economy the willingness to take risks can wither, so it’s critical to let team members know that failure will not result in punitive measures. A strong leader practices failure management by setting and agreeing on the risk taking bandwidth or budget. It is ok to fail but that failure should be seen and recognized as a learning experience.

….More at Innovation Excellence | Innovation is Creativity x Risk Taking

It is the job of leaders to know their industry and have a vision for what the future holds for their company. This is imperative so that they are able to allocate appropriate levels of devotion to innovation. Innovation requires that teams know that failure is an option. Failure is simply a step in the right direction. Leaders must be able to project this attitude and truly believe it in order to get the most out of their teams. A team that is constantly afraid of the repercussions of failure will consistently underperform. Only through true risk-taking can you achieve innovative results. Innovation requires great leadership.


Four Strategies to Nurture Creativity

The Thinker

Image by Dano via Flickr

No matter what your workplace environment may be, strategies to nurture creativity can be incorporated and will be beneficial to your workplace. We often associate creativity with strictly artistic endeavors but creativity can be useful in environments from cutting edge ad agencies to corporate offices. All it takes to implement creativity is a positive attitude and the ability to identify and examine problems where creativity may yield especially high yields. Tim Herd brings us four strategies to nurture creativity in the workplace. 

1. Invest in imagination. Allocate regular periods to digest new information, ponder, imagine, and act creatively. Crunching numbers and brainstorming involve very different brain functions, so dedicate specific times to shift from analytical to imaginative thinking.

Albert Einstein, no slouch as an analytical thinker, said: “I’m enough of an artist to draw freely on my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”

2. Pile up possibilities. Let ideas flow without censorship. You can critically evaluate them all later, but new thoughts, no matter how outlandish, often generate others. Encourage trust and open communication. Toss out the rules, suspend judgment, permit playful experimentation.

“You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going,” explained philosopher Thomas Merton. “What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.”

3. Dive into diversity. Encourage multiple viewpoints and perspectives. Even fuzzy, ambiguous concepts can help stimulate innovation. Sanction artistic expression. Resist the urge to resolve issues immediately; once things are finalized, creativity stops.

Theodore Roosevelt understood the creative value of diversity: “Wide differences of opinion in matters of religious, political, and social belief must exist if conscience and intellect alike are not to be stunted, if there is to be room for healthy growth.”

4. Cultivate curiosity. The workplace inquisition can be a good thing! Creative thinking is fueled by asking questions that reveal potential for further explorations and new possibilities. Ask and listen. Daydream. Wonder. What if…?

…More at Fostering creativity in the workplace | Tim Herd

You can incorporate these four strategies into your workplace culture today and begin to see a difference in employees attitudes and ideas. Integrating time for imagination allows for employees to start thinking about problems from multiple perspectives and the number of possible solutions to problems that pop up begin to grow. Curiosity is a crucial aspect of creativity that should not be made ineffectual by limiting questions. You can begin to nurture creativity in your workplace with these four strategies.


Innovation as Survival for Business Leadership


Image by Jan Tik via Flickr

Today we share some thoughts on innovation as survival for business leadership. People inherently like to take the easiest approach in any given situation. This can be disastrous in one's personal life and in business. In business, resting on one's laurels means giving the competition a step ahead. A company that does not take the time to reflect on their triumphs and tribulations and respond appropriately is destined to be in business for a short time. Innovation and creativity are cornerstones to a successful business. Sanjay Dalal gives us three reasons to innovate to keep your company in tip top shape.

I get this question asked a lot: Why innovate? Is it really necessary. We are doing just fine. Why should we take the extra effort, pour in more money and add resources to do something better?

Here's what I think: If you don't innovate, you may survive today, but will die tomorrow!

…More at Why Innovate? We are doing just fine! | Creativity And Innovation

Creative thinking often leads to serious innovation. Leaders need to be able to recognize the creativity of their team and channel that into innovative new products and services. In today's connected world, a competitor has many resources available to stay abreast of market trends and new developments that can allow them to out-compete if you stop innovating. Tapping into new markets is one strategy that can help you remain competitive. You must understand that stagnation is eventually going to ruin a business and that innovation is a great survival technique for business leadership. No matter what you do, harness your creativity and keep on innovating!


Motivational Skills That Drive Others

I love the video link for Daniel Pink‘s book Drive shows motivational skills that drive others. We all strive to find what motivates others and this RSA Animate presentation gives a great synopsis of his book.


As this clip shows, motivation sometimes comes from providing autonomy, mastery and purpose. Providing your team with these three things can improve forward focus.

What motivational skills that drive others can you incorporate today?