People differ on what innovation looks like, and few agree on how it transforms work. Hutch Carpenter asked 25 people to tell what innovation is from their perspective – and got back 25 different responses. Most people do agree that innovation sparks higher productivity for a competitive edge.
Any marks for invention potential where you work?
Check scores for innovative brainpower in your organization, and tell us what it would it take to nudge people to new peaks:
- Workers show enthusiasm for new ideas, and express support when others propose quality innovations. Brain Fact: Boredom is more a habit formed in brains, and shaped by choices, than a reality. The stressed mind, lacks innovation and defaults back to boring routines. ___ √ ___ x
- Work areas come well lit, and welcoming. Brain Fact: Environment plays a part in innovation, as healthy settings help people to transform problems and broken pieces into creative designs that work.___ √ ___ x
- Communication rocks. People engage one another’s best ideas through generating trust so that differences emerge as dividends. Brain Fact: Well being comes partially from and is fueled and extended by serotonin chemical hormones for well-being. ___ √ ___ x
- Conflicts yield to calm. Brain Fact: When anger, fear, and frustration are fueled by disagreements, innovation is stomped out by cortisol – chemical hormones for fury.
- More solutions than problems win in a day. Brain Fact: If venting is bad for the brain, proposed solutions lead to innovation. Both create new neuron pathways to much more of the same. ___ √ ___ x
- Change is on-going and expected. Innovation is highly valued, and renewal constantly transforms the culture at work. Brain Fact: Dendrite brain cells use the outside world and take shape, or grow based on what you do. ___ √ ___ x
- Music selections sustain focus for innovative results. Research shows growth in people’s focus and attention to excellence through melodies in baroque, for instance. Brain Fact: Music changes brain wave speeds in ways that impact moods and alter productivity. ___ √ ___ x
- Implementation is central to learning. Experiments with data predominate over delivery of facts . Brain Fact: Lectures and talks work against listeners’ brains and benefit speakers’ intelligence mostly. ___ √ ___ x
- Seniority comes with innovative offerings rather than years of service. Regardless of age, innovative brainpower grows with daily use. To stop learning and or stomp on growth is to kill a brain’s plasticity. Brain Fact: In contrast to innovators, Hebbian workers rewire their brains to kill incentives, limit focus or even shrink their brains. ___ √ ___ x
- People contribute to renewal from highly diverse backgrounds and beliefs at all leadership levels. Brain Fact: Just as diversity training commonly works mentally against benefits because of its deficit model, inclusion leads innovative differences. ___ √ ___ x
- Wide variety exists so that exercise and quiet reflection gain import. Brain Fact: Brain waves can bring either sleep or move into peak performance, based on how they activate at work. All four brain wave levels serve value to innovative stages. ___ √ ___ x
- Learning remains highly relevant to many. Brain Fact: Hook even difficult facts onto one thing a person already knows and learning increases in less time, and innovative workplaces engage new knowledge with ease. ___ √ ___ x
- Ruts appear rare – while invention frequently finds a marketplace of new ideas. Brain Fact: Basal ganglias store facts and create ruts, working memory holds few facts and leads innovative change. ___ √ ___ x
- Multiple approaches abound as people exceed prescribed standards from many unique approaches. Brain Fact: Multiple intelligences are common to all innovators, used by few staunch traditionalists, and develop IQ daily in innovative settings. ___ √ ___ x
- Peer pressure boosts creativity, innovation is launched where cynicism is blatantly absent. Brain Fact: While encouragement motivates innovative brainpower , the opposite is also true. Cynical mindsets literally block creativity, impact talent, and stomp out innovation. ___ √ ___ x
- Learning approaches are mutually shared and memorized facts give way to meaningful connections at work. Brain Fact: Memory can be outsourced to help people remember, and to free the mind for focus on a more collaborative innovative process. ___ √ ___ x
- Senior workers learn from upstarts in symbiotic teaching-sharing settings. Brain Fact: Plasticity enables people of all ages to rewire the human brain for innovation that keeps brainpower younger, smarter, and alive through interactive learning. ___ √ ___ x
- A spirit of encouragement supersedes distrust. Consensus and active team building lead to innovation for raised profitability. Brain Fact: Encouragement changes the chemistry of a brain through raised serotonin, criticism tears down all through spreading cortisol chemicals. ___ √ ___ x
- Trust is evident through transparency in innovative communications. Brain Fact: Just as meta messages destroy relationships through implications different from what is said, transparency opens segues to creative contributions at work. ___ √ ___ x
- Team building acumen builds innovation across traditional silos and departments. People pull together creatively for the greater good, rather than self-serving ends. Brain Fact: It often takes an integration of hard and soft skills to solve problems innovatively with the brain in mind. ___ √ ___ x
- Affirmative tone predominates so that many innovative people tend to take risks to achieve new heights. Brain Fact: Just as stress literally shrinks the brain, and poor tone acts as innovation’s silent killer, affirmation compels creative thinkers. ___ √ ___ x
- Leaders know most people by name, and names are valued throughout the work environment. Brain Fact: Greet a person warmly through speaking that person’s name, for a spike in personal awareness, within the human brain. See ties to innovation at work? ___ √ ___ x
- Creativity and invention get fired rather than stomped on, through teaching others at the same time as people learn new innovative approaches. Brain Fact: People retain 90% more through teaching others at the same time they learn a thing. So wisdom and invention spreads and grows in this way. ___ √ ___ x
- Curiosity is highly cultivated by the entire workplace community, through rewards. Brain Fact: People create new neuron pathways each time they add an innovative solution to any problem encountered. The opposite is also true – as a focus on problems leads to more of the same. ___ √ ___ x
- High value is commonly attributed to both women and men at all leadership levels. Brain Fact: Women’s and men’s brain differ biologically and intellectually in ways that few optimize, but ways that jettison innovations forward when valued. ___ √ ___ x
What innovation strategy would raise your organization’s score? Why not take a survey to gauge the innovative IQ potential – and you’ll discover where to suggest change for growth.