Tag 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.

Share

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.

Share

Leading Creativity through Forward Focus

Leading Creativity through forward focus

Image by eilonwy77 via Flickr

The ideas of leadership and play when combined provide an opportunity to lead creativity through forward focus. What do I mean?

Think back, way back, to when you were a kid with all the energy and imagination that went with it. Can’t think back that far, then look at the world through the eyes of a child. One that comes to mind is with my son. All of 2 years old at the time, he decided that I must lay down on the kitchen floor to watch as two ants scurried across it. My first thought – get the ant spray and squish the ants. Yet I hesitated just long enough to lay down on the floor and listen to my son explain that the ants were on a parade and all the fun places the parade would see. Such as going down a slide,stopping at the beach, and visiting a picnic or two along the way. For that short time, I watched the ants through his imagination. He saw the possibilities that lie ahead, he had forward focus. I will do my best to make sure he doesn’t lose the creativity of that moment.

After all only about 20% of us will retain creativity in our lives. Not sure where you fall? Consider this – when you think about leading your team are you seeing the cannot or the can?

If you are among the 20% that thinks creatively, you are thinking about the can and changing the cannot to can. For the other 80% the to do list is daunting list with lots of cannot. As children our creativity flowed endlessy from crazy made up creations with Legos® to acting out whole scenarios with Barbie® orG.I. Joe®. Somewhere along the way we have lost many of these needed skills. How can we maintain it or find it again?

Leo Babauta had some similar experiences to my ant parade and explores how to infuse your day with creativity (play)….

You can’t always enjoy what you’re doing, right?

Actually, you can. You just have to remember what it’s like to be a child.

Sure, there are things we have to do every day that we might think are boring: household chores, errands, routine tasks at work, being in a meeting that’s makes you want to pound your head on the table. But those are only boring because we’ve chosen to make them boring.

Let’s take my 6-year-old daughter Noelle as an example. She had to go to the dentist, which is a pretty routine thing for most people. We took the train and then walked a few blocks. In the train, she sang, found things fun to see out the window, played games with me. As we walked, she talked about how the building the dentist is in might possibly reach the blue stuff in the sky, and wanted to bet me that it actually did (10 hugs if I won, $1 if she won). The elevator ride to the 18th floor was like a roller coaster ride to her.

Everything she does becomes a game, an opportunity for wonder and exploration, or at the very least an opportunity to sing a song. She’s never bored. Why is that?

Because she doesn’t see anything as boring. Everything is new, and there’s always a game you can play.

We can do that too. Every chore can be turned into play. Every walk to the store can be infused with beginner’s mind, so that we see our surroundings afresh, ripe for exploration. Every boring work task can be turned into a challenge, a game.

It is amazing to see what we can learn from the children around us. They bring creativity to everything they do – now is the time to begin leading creativity. Do you want to know the benefits of leading creativity through forward focus? Look for the 7 Benefits to Leading Creativity Through Forward Focus next week.

 

Play fosters belonging and encourages cooperation.
- Stuart Brown, MD

More Mindset Reading
True Payoff From Workplace Diversity
Do You Dare Your Employees To Dream?

Share