Art of Innovation

It’s Friday afternoon and I’m taking a few minutes to reflect, to think about conversations I’ve been part of over the last few weeks. Several of these were very good conversations with my co-collaborators on Art of Innovation, Doug Shaw and Phil Dodson.

One of the things I realized upon reflection was, “how can I expect anyone else to listen to me if I don’t listen to myself?” I don’t mean the words that come out of my mouth, or even the words that I type in numerous emails, instant messages, etc. I mean the words that I say to myself, inside my head. The words that no one hears. If I am not willing to listen to the voice that says, “don’t do that” ¬†or “do this,” how can I expect anyone to listen when I tell them something that I feel is important, and needs to be paid attention to?

Certainly this lack of listening impacts me on both a personal and a professional basis. It affects how I interact with people whether the people are friends, colleagues, or somewhere in between.

Personal and Professional
And that is the “thing” about the workshops that Doug and Phil and I are doing. They aren’t just personal; they aren’t just professional; they are both. We are human beings, we are multifaceted, and complicated. We don’t fit into a box. We aren’t just personal, we aren’t just professional.

The workshops that we did in London in June 2017, and that we’re doing in Berlin in July 2017, look at both the personal and the professional.

How does the creativity work we’re doing impact us personally?

How does it impact us in a professional/organizational context.

What does it mean when a whole organization starts doing this work–being creative, reflecting, taking back some space to really do things differently.

What impact does that have on the organization as a whole? They are more productive, employee morale/engagement increases, employee turnover decreases, customers are more satisfied, product quality improves.

Like all things, the only way things change is if we change ourselves. We can’t change other people, they have to change themselves. We can help, we can present our experiences, our research from scientific studies, but in the end, if the person isn’t ready to accept that information, regardless of it’s veracity, no change will take place.

People = Organizations
Our organizations are made up of people, so the only way our organizations change is if we start treating our people better, giving them the space they need to do the job they were hired to do, stop focusing on short-term measures. Short-term gain for long-term pain, is not the way to be successful either personally or professionally. It all catches up with you sooner or later.

So where does that leave us? It’s important to reflect, to listen to ourselves and to others, it’s important to treat people as a whole, not a part, it’s important to give people space to be creative, to learn, to do the good job that they want to do. That is how we make progress personally and professionally.

And if you want to learn more, come to our workshop in Berlin on July 4-5, 2017.

And if you haven’t seen this video, you might be interested in taking a look, definitely some thoughts about doing things differently.

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