Author: leadabove

Hey Semantics: Get Out of the Way of Innovation!

Are you a leader? Then you’re thinking about innovation – right? No –I’m not watching you right now. That would be creepy. It’s just something I happen to know about you. And let me guess – you’re not seeing enough of it from your team members. Want my advice? Fire every last one of them. No wait – don’t do that. But I do have some thoughts on the matter of leading for innovation. Before we dive in, let’s first acknowledge the aspirational pointers living in the leadership ether. A few of my favorites include: The “Google approach” of (allegedly) inviting employees to spend 20% of their time just thinking. (Though with free breakfast, lunch and dinner available, one might wonder – 20% of how many hours?). There’s the “read more books, across industries and fields to generate new ideas” approach –  (But when?) Experiment – test, and fail (um, won’t I get fired?) Broaden your network of thinkers (refer to hesitation on second item). Build an open floor plan (wait – what did you say, brain?) All of the above are great strategies when implemented effectively. But really, the foundation for great innovation comes not in the how, but in the what. What defines innovation? Or more specifically, how do you define it for your team? Oftentimes, herein lies the key to success. We tend to focus so...

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Go With The Flow…State

Get this Gist: So Gallup tells us that only 33% of US employees are inspired by and/or engaged in their work.  Go ahead – do the math.  It’s not pretty for employers. But according to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the key is helping employees find their flow state.   It’s the place where we feel we perform our best.  The shorthand is this:  Find the spot where challenge meets skill, and you’ll have time flying for your team — just make sure they don’t forget to go home! Now Run With It:  So how to put this into use?  Have a think about the folks on your team.  Everyone has different skills and interests.  If Harry loves writing and Sally loves client engagement, evaluate the initiatives on their plates, and be sure you have each doing some of what they love… but with a challenge built in.  If Harry has been writing internal docs, can he take a stab at an outbound communication?  An all-employee memo?  How might you leverage a strong suit but add a twist? Have an idea but want to talk it through?  Shoot me an email – happy to...

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