Have you ever sat with a good friend near an open window, on a warm spring day? Scents of new life ride on gentle breezes that refresh the entire room.
In contrast, when gridlock enters a room, you see stuffy settings and breathe stale air with little escape from its deadlock. Emotions get manipulated by rigid routines, and ruts replace new strategies before new ideas take root.
10 windows open into innovation for more spring in your workplace
- Transparency offers clear visibility, where ambiguity shrouds through opaque expectations. Compare clearly stated criteria to guide a contest, with suspect agendas hidden from contestants. Brainpowered Strategy to open crystal clear windows – display the same transparent criteria for doing a project as you use in evaluating the work!
- Novelty – derails workplace toxins by launching creative outcomes that most people crave. Compare insights that burst or die because of boring routines at one workplace, and you’ll likely appreciate novelty’s regal role to rejuvenate another. Brainpowered Strategy to open novelty windows – Use an online tool (such as Twitter) – to advance suggestions for a new direction or product.
- Interactions fuel even hidden or unused strengths, through good tone and a well crafted question. Compare the question, What if...? to the body language Who cares…? and you’ll spot the difference tone can make. Brainpowered Strategy to open communication windows -hold back one opinion you are well known for at your next meeting, in favor of valuing an idea on the other side.
- Curiosity – engages more brainpower through plasticity (the brain’s newly discovered ability to change itself). Curiosity spawns a sense of wonder in designs. Compare cynicism to curiosity and you’ll spot neuron pathways to brokenness, not brilliance. Brainpowered Strategy to open curiosity’s window – Ask a question that pits an expert against a problem and then apply the answer to a solution.
- Integration – tosses more diverse tools into the ring, and builds solutions from different minds, different backgrounds, and different genders. Compare a brainstorming session where facilitators engage highly different views, to a meeting where one leader drones one side in monologues. Brainpowered Strategy to open integration’s window – Post anonymous solutions to an organizational barrier, from many different voices, and vote on offerings.
- Intelligence-fair assessments start with people’s reflection about what they did well, and their articulation of evidence to support that excellence. Compare the opposite, where a leader or mentor evaluates a work without seeing its value or catching its possibilities to improve. Brainpowered Strategy to open windows into fairness – Name specific strengths in your next work, and emphasize strengths in another person’s offering.
- Diversity – jumpstarts innovation through shared values across a wider reach. Some say it rarely happens, and others claim it can’t. I say we shift from siloed isolation to diverse communities that draw on diverse talents to fuse innovative outcomes. Brainpowered Strategy to open diversity windows – Invite workplace tools from many innovative problem solvers.
- Challenges become possibilities for greatness when you consider problems with solutions in mind. Serotonin chemicals fuel and sustain brainpower when people step toward progress and away from barriers. Compare the opposite from cynics who insist it cannot be done. Brainpowered Strategy to open possibility windows – tackle one stubborn problem today with an innovative peer who tends to contribute creative ideas through questions such as What if…?
- Growth comes from harmony among many players, and a shared willingness to lead forward from missteps into improvements. Compare the opposite from folks who feel they have reached the top of their field, and who stop learning from others. Brainpowered Strategy to open growth windows – Facilitate novices and experts for joint outcomes.
- Opposites shed new lights on old problems, when both sides converge into new pathways forward. Compare the opinionated person who insists on a one-view-only approach to collaborative problem solvers at work. Brainpowered Strategy to open opposites’ windows – Identify opposing views that add value to resolve controversial issue where you work.
What windows open into innovation opportunities where you sit today?